The Rhythm is Gonna Get Ya

For those of you reading this on your mobile device while walking and listening to music, turn off that music right now. According to researchers from the University of Maryland, “serious injuries to pedestrians listening to headphones have more than tripled in six years,” and that number will only go up as we get older and/or the music playing through those headphones gets louder.

70 percent of headphone-wearing pedestrians in their study of 116 cases ended in death. (No one reported whether the iPod or Zune was OK.) And this was despite over half of the accidents involving trains, which, c’mon, kind of give away where they’re coming from with tracks.

At least a third of the 116 accidents involving cars and trains tried to alert pedestrians with their horns, but this blended in seamlessly with listeners’ techno and dubstep mixes. The study did not account for people of superior musical taste who aimed for the pedestrians and then sounded their horn in a victorious yawp.

Bonus: The article in the link comes from an online section of the USA Today titled, “DriveOn.”

Oh, don’t mind these scissors

A clearly lonely Japanese man was arrested in Higashiyamacho, Saitama Prefecture on Sunday for cutting a woman’s pants while she slept on a train (thanks to the ads, link is Not Safe For Work). Perhaps our idea of him being a pervert was a bit hasty, as police interrogated him and got loads of information as to why he did it. According to police, Takahashi told station staff, “She was stretched out on the priority seat taking up all the space, so I got mad at her.”

The man is a 57 year old construction worker who apparently enjoys bringing scissors onto trains (nothing bad ever happens on Japanese trains). He thought he was in the clear until the victim realized her pants had been cut, and followed him off the train to report him to authorities.

Our Advice: Go to the newsstand if you get urges like these. It’ll be pretty clear the next steps that you’ll need to take.

Love is on the rails, every where and every town

Where to you go to meet potential lovers? The club? The mall? Furry conventions? How about the train? That could actually work if you were to ride on the JR East’s Koumi line in Japan.

There’s one train car that is actually hosting a singles event! Singles aged 25 to 40 will board the fancy hybrid train that passes along the scenic Yatsugatake mountains, going from Kobuchizawa Station in Yamanashi Prefecture to Komoro Station in Nagano Prefecture and back again, giving guys and gals plenty of time (4.5 hours) to mingle and make a connection. It’s quite literally speed dating.

“Guy and girl train enthusiasts, get together on Japan’s most fun train!” says an enthusiastic Sumio Taga, the organizer of the event.

With Japan’s rich and stereotypical history of men and the train system, that doesn’t sound creepy at all!

All the groping you can afford

Reportedly, one of the biggest pains is when you’re out late at night with friends in Japan and the rush to catch that last train at 1am begins. After that, you’re stranded until 6am with no trains running and most businesses shuttered. Sometimes you can find a bar that’ll be open to keep you occupied until you can find your way home, but you’ll be piss-drunk as a result. Which, honestly, we’re not exactly complaining about.

That’s the way things currently are in Japan, for better or worse.

But that not be the way things are in Japan in the future. The Tokyo government is considering running the Toei Chikatetsu 24 hours a day, due to the increasing number of flights coming into Haneda airport in Tokyo at all hours of the night. It’s a much more attractive option than a $60 cab ride in or something of that nature.

This would certainly change some of the cityscape of Tokyo. In the largest city of a country with 200% of its GDP in debt, they could use the jobs that this change could create. Of course, Japan is notorious for true stories urban legends of women being repeatedly groped by men left and right and left and right and other directions that you didn’t know exist. Will a 24 hour train make this situation worse? We’ll have to watch for the filed police reports to judge that.

Next thing you know, they’ll want separate offices

If you’re a man of the male persuation and you take a train of some sort to work everyday, you know how it is. You get one the train, see women, and have to fondle them. I get it, I’m the same way myself. The good news is that we’re not alone, guys.

Japan has the same problem–only women there don’t enjoy it like the women here in the U.S. do. It’s so much of a problem for them that they are thinking about separating train cars by gender, so only the women can fondle each other–and YOU can’t enjoy your commute.

Chicks. Amiright?