Cyberdyne and HAL: two great tastes in robotics to destroy humanity

We’ve talked about Cyberdyne, the Japanese company of the future present, before here on SG. It’s been quite some time since their name was uttered on our website, but it seems they’re at it again.

What was once used exclusively for old people is now being sent in the direction of disaster response: specifically for first responders of nuclear accidents.

Somehow, using HAL suits manufactured by Cyberdyne for nuclear matters makes the science nerd in cringe and fear for the future.

Guinness doesn’t care about Japan’s largest toilet, maybe thinks it’s crappy?

Get ready for some time travel style reporting.

Dateline, May 2012: We at SeriouslyGuys broke to you, our loyal audience, news full of not corn and nuts, but of Japan’s decision to make the largest toilet in the world. Women would be able to pay for the privilege in peeing in a clear box. So far, nothing out of the norm for Japan.

Dateline, 2013: The world’s largest toilet is opened in Ichihara. Or is it?

Dateline, October 2012: Guinness World Records decides to pass on judging the world’s largest toilet, citing their lack of interest in the matter. This is a little important for the project as Guinness’s seal of approval is needed for the title. Ichihara cares not, stating that they’ll continue with the costly art project. Meanwhile, male Japanese bladders continue to suffer.

Time to bust some puffs

Late last week, some mysterious crop circles appeared in Japan. And by Japan, I mean underwater crop circles off the coast of Japan. WoooOOOOOooOOOOoooOOOOooo. Does this mean that deep in the dark waters, aliens visited and made elaborate patterns as signals for target strike zones? Were they created by some Lovecraftian monstrosity?

Nope. Turns out it was just a male pufferfish.

A Japanese television film crew discovered that a single, solitary pufferfish created the entire design. All in the hopes of getting laid. Presumably. You see, our scientists tell us that reason, but how do we know that it’s not actually a signal from the pufferfish to their animal brethren to commit a horrible atrocity? We just can’t trust them. The safest and most reasonable course of action is to eliminate those beasts and with haste.

Mt. Fuji to erupt, possibly throw salt in the eyes of Bret Hart

Oh, whoops, we got our T’s and R’s confused. Well, nonetheless, the mountain named Gregor Clegane Fuji is close to erupting. So, those planning on traveling to Japan, you might want to speed up those plans. But don’t worry, scientists and vulcanologists (the mortal enemy of Tony Kornheiser) are pretty optimistic about everything:

Japanese scientists are warning that the country’s famed Mount Fuji could be on the verge of a catastrophic eruption. Volcanologist have discovered that the pressure in the volcano’s magma chamber is higher than it was the last time Fuji erupted in 1707. The pressure is measured in megapascals, and researchers say recent readings show the chamber hitting a level of 1.6; pressure readings of 0.1 megapascals are enough to trigger an eruption. Scientists say the March 2011 earthquake that caused a massive tsunami has been one factor in putting increased pressure on the chamber. Government estimates say an eruption could result in more than 300,000 deaths as well as cause up to $30 billion in damage.

Nnnnnnnh. Eeep.

Support Your Local World Conqueror

We at SG give more than our fair share of (deserved) flack towards Japan. But it’s okay. They’ve officially made up for it.

A group of Japanese hobbyists have made working mechs that can be piloted by humans. And they can be yours for the low, low price of 1.3 million dollars.

The way we look at it, we only need around 3 of them. That’s a scant 3.9 million dollars, but let’s make it an even 4. We know that you fabulous and sensational people can help us out with the fundraising for this. By doing so, we will make sure that every person who contributes will not be trampled upon in our glorious path for world domination.

Don’t hesitate. Do it. Do it now.

Japan hates Youtube people

It’s easy to shorthand Japan as “Crazy Japan,” mainly because it’s fairly accurate most of the time. But every so often Glorious Nippon severely tests that “Glorious” part, and prove the characterization spot-on. This is one of those times.

Japan’s government has just passed a law that would outlaw the act of “ripping” copyrighted material of any kind to users’ computers, and the knowing downloading of such material from any internet source. Naturally, this is targeted towards folks who record TV shows and DVDs/Blu-rays for sharing, archiving, and of course piracy. That part of the law is a good thing. Punishment ranges from hefty fines to jail time. The law goes into effect this October.

But wait, there’s more.

The broad, vague wording of the law opens the potential to prosecute users with the temerity to view copyrighted material on such innocuous sites as Youtube, because those sites upload data to users’ computers. And it potentially covers international viewers of Japanese copyrighted material. What’s more, analysts suggest that the law could be used to suppress material that the government finds uncomfortable.

This bears all the hallmarks of a law written by fearful companies and legislators who would rather destroy that which they don’t understand and can’t adapt to. Of course, natural challenges over enforcement, scope and freedom of speech will rise up, but truthfully, it doesn’t seem really feasible that the Japanese public will muster the kind of intense resistance that Americans raised over SOPA and PIPA.

Prove me wrong, Japan. Prove me wrong.

Japan is one big toilet

Oh, excuse me, I’m sorry, Japan has one big toilet. That helps out. See, most public restrooms can be kind of crappy (get it?). They’re cramped and dirty, which probably doesn’t help relax your mind while you’re relaxing your body (get it still?). But architect Sou Fujimoto has a better , bigger idea.

Fujimoto has designed the world’s biggest toilet, not by creating a giant toilet — the porcelain throne itself is normal-sized — but by virtue of designing a giant, outdoor stall. If you’re a woman (sorry, no guys) in Ichihara City in Chiba Prefecture and need to take a leak, you can pay a little to use this 10 million yen toilet in a clear glass box, placed on 200 square meters of land adorned with beautiful flowers. It may look sparse now, but things will continue to grow until the area is bursting with grass, flowers, and trees. And don’t worry, no one will see you, because the toilet is surrounded by a two-meter fence.

Ideally, Fujimoto would like to see access extended to men, who need to take a particularly serene dump. I’d like to try it out too, but let’s be fair here: women won’t like sharing a restroom with men, and men’s restrooms are usually pretty nasty. Why not make a second outdoor toilet next door?

Tattoo discrimination? In the Japan? I mean, in Japan?

In Japan, tattoos have long been associated with the Yakuza. Partly due to safety reasons, even today public places such as bathhouses and gyms have banned people bearing large tattoos from entering their premises. Now, tattooed city employees are also being subjected to new employment restrictions.

Osaka Major Toru Hashimoto, who has a long history of making controversial decisions, has ordered all public servants to fill out a form on which they must specify where in their bodies they have been tattooed. Employees with any visible marking could potentially be excluded from jobs where they will be in direct contact with the public.

Hashimoto claims that the new policy is part of strategy to safeguard the credibility of government services, but union officials are calling the move discriminatory. Some Japanese are concerned about the form being illegal and in violation of the employees’ human rights. About 38,000 city employees could be affected by the ordinance. We at SG, especially Rick Snee, call it A-OK.

Happy meals? Try sloshed meals

In late April, McDonald’s Japan opened its largest branch in Harajuku Omotesando. The store is approximately 795 square feet and can seat up to 328 hungry customers. Very soon the restaurant will also have its very own cafe, where customers will be able to order coffee right down to the most specific of desire.

According to reports, the Harajuku Omotesando branch was designed to appeal to a more adult and trendy demographic than usual, which seems to be a recurring trend with fast food restaurants in Japan these days. The going rumor is that it will try to compete with a KFC that serves whiskey.

We at SG know the only smart way to do that: more whiskey and booze.

Women are both the cause and solution of Japanese work problems

According to figures put together by the 21st Century Public Policy Institute, a think tank linked to Japan’s Keidanren business federation, Japan might no longer fall among the world’s top economies by the year 2050. A shrinking and aging population and a decline in productivity are listed as factors influencing the downgrade.

The institute predicts that in a matter of 40 years Japan’s GDP could dip to about ⅙ that of China and the U.S, and ⅓ that of India. However, if policymakers could boost workforce participation by women to the same level seen in more gender-progressive countries such as Sweden, Japan could be the 4th largest economy by mid-century. The report states that if women did not quit their jobs due to marriage or childbirth, Japan’s workforce could see an increase of up to 4.5 million people in a matter of years.

Of course, achieving this goal would require a massive change in Japan’s corporate culture. That should be eezy-peezy.