Wired has a fun photo gallery of hypercolored sea creatures by Iori Tomita, a fisherman-turned-artist who uses digestive enzymes and chemicals to manipulate their disintegration process so that it stops right before they start to crumble–for some reason, the fish turn transparent for a fleeting moment at that stage. And then he dyes and preserves them. You can see some of his work at Design Festa next month in Tokyo.
Do you guys remember this character, Kero Kero Keroppi? I used to love him when I was a kid–don’t know why. Something about his simple, cross-eyed smile I find very endearing. I used to do all my school homework using notebooks and pens with his insignia on it. Anyway, he completely slipped my mind for about 23 years until a couple weeks ago, when I found a Burning Man art car parked near my house with a Kero Kero Keroppi stuffed doll sticking out the back of the truck bed. Odd, I thought. A few days later, the truck was gone and Keroppi was found hanging by the neck from a tree near the local burrito joint. I thought about rescuing him, but I was driving, and couldn’t make a clean stop.
A few days later, he was gone. Assuming he died or was stolen.
If you’re even the slightest bit a Japanophile, you know the story of Hachiko, the faithful dog that waited for its dead owner to come home to Shibuya station. (Tokyo’s most famous rendezvous point is the cluster of benches in front of his statue.) Brian clues us in to a video, via Laughing Squid, about a dog in Texas that is doing the same thing: waiting for its owner, Wayne Giroux, to come home. Wayne was killed by a drunk driver in June, but the dog doesn’t know it. Sad.
The Ctenoides ales — also known as the electric flame scallop — is a mollusk found in shallow tropical coral reefs. Check out its glowing lips!
via Pink Tentacle
If you grew up in Japan in the 80s and 90s, you will remember Mutsugoro, the eccentric animal-loving researcher and essayist from Hokkaido. In this video, a TV show brings us highlights from the top 5 most scandalous Mutsugoro moments. Watch him drink cow piss, rumble with a bighting jaguar, and get a bare hug from an anaconda.
via Boing Boing
A very strange TV commercial by energy company Nisshimbo, about a bear who is suffering from global warming.
(Thanks, Kazu Y!)
This mysterious, slimy, and kinda cute sea animal was found off the coast of Miyake Island, 200 meters below the surface of the sea. Does anyone know what it is?
Update: Apparently it’s called the dickswim! Really?
via (Thanks, Blue Magister!)
That’s all. I think it’s funny how the guys taking the video are trying to decide if what the panda is doing is strange, or if it’s perfectly normal that it has an itch to scratch.
Some dogs don’t like the rain. Most dogs don’t like wearing raincoats. The solution could be in this umbrella for dogs — it faces downwards instead of up and has a leash attachment to it so that it automatically opens up over your dog as he walks. Interesting!
Product page (Japanese) (Thanks, Kazu Y!)
A 24-year old pet store manager in Nagasaki named Akira Honda was arrested for stealing a penguin from a zoo to pay off his debts. The bird he snatched was a Humboldt Penguin; they’re South American birds that grow to about 27 inches tall and 130lbs heavy. They’re not on the endangered species list yet, but there are only about 12,000 left in the wild, according to the Telegraph.
Takako Iwasa is a cat-loving Tokyoite who made waves when she created Versailles-themed and other outlandish costumes for her beautiful white kitty:
“Costumes for dogs have been popular for 20 years,” she said. “But we didn’t have costumes for cats because we believed cats groom themselves and don’t like to wear clothes. But, I met my cat, Prin, and suddenly thought, ‘ I want to dress her up!’ “
via The Global Post
I can’t get enough of watching these two dogs — one likes to sit on a ledge and the other smiles when his owner approaches him. He doesn’t smile for anyone else! It’s super cute.
In case you haven’t been following the battle of oceanic activist group Sea Shepherds vs. the Japanese whalers, this video from World News Australia shows the latest. Apparently, a Sea Shepherd guy snuck onto a Japanese whaler with a bill for a destroyed ship; the Japanese government took him into custody.
By the way, here’s a snippet from a Sea Shepherds’ press release:
Captain Peter Bethune is no longer just a man who set a world record in boating and had the courage to defend the whales. He will now be the very symbol of the citizens of New Zealand and Australia and their love for the great whales.
The last time a Kiwi was taken prisoner to Japan was in their great war of imperialism went they attempted to enslave both Australia and New Zealand. They have now returned to plunder Australian and New Zealand waters and once again they are arrogantly flaunting the law and taking prisoners.
Remember Bowlingual, the doggie translation device that won the Ig Nobel prize in 2002? This summer, it’s slated to become available for iPhone. The iPhone version will also allow dog owners to send their dog’s thoughts automatically to Twitter along with an icon of their dog. It is thought that this will encourage doggie and doggie owner social networking.
I took this photo of two chihuahuas inside of a glass chamber at Wag Style, a salon space in Yoyogi Uehara that offers anti-aging oxygen therapy to dogs and humans. Story forthcoming.
Oxygen cell slows down canine aging
In the popular old school slapstick “gag” anime series Tensai Bakabon, there’s this mysterious animal called the Unagi Inu. It’s a blue, fat-lipped dog-eel hybrid that lives in the same neighborhood as Bakabon and his silly gray-skinned dad. He’s kind of girl crazy, and the cop is dying to eat him. Anyway, Bakabon was on TV last night and I watched it for the first time in at least a decade; the episode was all about Unagi Inu and how he came to be. You see, Unagi Inu’s dad is a dog (inu) and his mom is an unagi (eel). One day, the dog was walking past the local fish shop when he saw the eel jumping out of its bucket. “Help me!” she was saying. He instantly fell in love, and took her with him. Now they live happily in a small Japanese-style home on the outskirts of town.
A four-year old boy died today while visiting his grandma. He was mauled by two dogs belonging to a local lawyer, who owned a little yard that the dogs and the kid were playing in at the time of the incident. The lawyer’s name is Takamitsu Shikichi. No word yet as to whether charges will be held against him.
People taking a break at a bus terminal not too far from Tokyo were stunned on Friday by a sudden bear attack that left 4 people seriously injured. The black bear was preparing for hibernation and out looking for food. He was shot dead after he ran into the terminal building. Here’s a low-res video of him taken by a tourist of the bear mauling one of his victims.