Adult Adoption – The Secret to Preserving Centuries-Old Japanese Family Businesses

0 CommentsStumble it Icon digg it Icon

Japan has one of the highest adoption rates in the world, with over 80,000 legal adoptions recorded every year. Yet when it comes to adopting children, the Asian country is lagging way behind most developed countries. That’s because around 98% of Japanese adoptees are bright young men in their 20s and 30s.

At the same time, while studies have shown that family-controlled businesses are generally unsustainable over long periods of time –  mostly due to the fact that business acumen and intelligence are only partially inherited – it’s interesting to see that not only are a third of Japanese corporations family-run, but they are also clearly outperforming professionally managed companies in almost every way. Statistics show that family firms are more profitable, have a higher market valuation and increased sales compared to their rivals. Even more curious is that giants like Suzuki, Toyota or Matsui Securities have managed to keep it all in the family for over a hundred years, and other family businesses for even longer than that.

But what does the remarkable success of family business have to do with the high rate of adult adoption, right? Well, in Japan at least, these two curiosities are very closely linked. Prior to the Second World War, civil code in Japan decreed family wealth could only be passed down through male lines, traditionally to the first born son. So families with no male heirs or with sons deemed unsuitable to take over the family business turned to adoption, but not the kind most of us are used to. Instead of simply adopting a baby or a young boy, they adopted young men who displayed the intelligence and knowledge of business required to ensure that their name and legacy endured until the next generation. And while the law no longer prohibits people from passing down their fortune to female heirs, the age-old tradition of electing a ‘mukoyoshi’ (or ‘adopted son-in-law’) is still very popular in Japan.

adult-adoptions-japan2 ..

Singapore Woman Has Spent the Last 8 Years Living in an Airport While Renting Out Her Own Apartment

0 CommentsStumble it Icon digg it Icon

A 50-year-old woman has apparently been living in Changi Airport, Singapore, for the last eight years, despite owning her own three-room apartment, which she rents out for about $1,000 a month.

The woman, who asked to remain anonymous, told Singapore newspaper Lianhe Wanbao that she moved into Changi Airport in 2008, after being hit hard by the global financial crisis. “At the time, I was stuck in a rut and had no other choice,” she said, adding that in the beginning she was terrified by the idea of living in an airport, and only planned to do it for a short period of time, until she got back on her feet. She rented out her three-room apartment and leaned to survive in an environment that she quickly learned provides a person with pretty much everything they need. She apparently became quite comfortable with her new home, as those few nights she originally planned for turned into eight years.

airport-tenant ..

Man Has Spent the Last 40 Years Living Alone in Colorado Ghost Town Recording All Kinds of Useful Data

3 CommentsStumble it Icon digg it Icon

For the past four decades, billy barr – he insists his name be written with lower case letters only – has been living by himself in Gothic, Colorado, a ghost town deserted since the 1920s, passing the time by recording all sorts of data, from daily snowfalls, temperatures, snow melting, animal sightings, etc.. He never imagined that the results of his 40-year hobby would one day help scientists better understand global warming and earn him a cool superhero name – The Snow Guardian.

billy bar first came to Gothic in 1972 as a Rutgers University environmental science student doing water chemistry research. He liked the quiet life here so much that he completed his semester to get his degree and became a permanent resident of the mountainous ghost town. He had grown up in New Jersey, but never really liked being surrounded by so many people, so moving to this secluded ghost town was a chance to get away from social pressure. “I grew up in the city. It was too much for me,” he says.

barr began the winter of 1974 camping in a tent, which is not exactly ideal in a place where snow reaches twenty-five feet a year. Luckily, the owner of an abandoned mining shack was kind enough to let billy move in, to keep him from freezing to death. It became his home for the next eight years, and also the place where he started his impressive database on snow. The modern-day hermit claims that the sole goal behind his epic journal was to fight boredom. There’s not a lot to do in a ghost town in winter time, so he just started monitoring things like daily snowfalls, snow density, temperature, and anything else he could measure. “I didn’t have anything else to do. It was simple curiosity,” billy says.

billy-barr-snow ..

Woman Unknowingly Prays to ‘Lord of the Rings’ Figurine for Years

5 CommentsStumble it Icon digg it Icon

A great-grandmother from Brazil has accidentally been praying to a figurine of Elrond, and elf from J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, after mistaking it for Saint Anthony, the late Portuguese priest and patron saint of lost things.

Gabriela Brandão, a make-up artist from Florianópolis, Brazil, made this hilarious discovery last week, posting a series of photos of the Elrond figurine on Facebook. “My daughter’s great-grandmother prays to this figure of Saint Anthony every day, but looking more closely…,” she wrote. She had noticed that something wasn’t right about the figurine, so she started doing some online research. She managed to find an exact replica on an online store, which listed it as Elrond, an Elven character from The Lord of the Rings fantasy universe. She called it the “funniest discovery of 2016.”

elrond-saint-anthony ..

Scammer Makes Seven Figures Buying Luxury Bags Online and Returning Chinese Fakes for Full Refunds

3 CommentsStumble it Icon digg it Icon

A Thai woman living in Virgina was recently convicted for masterminding an elaborate designer purse scheme that involved buying hundreds of authentic accessories online and returning Chinese knock-offs for full refunds. She would then sell the originals on sites like eBay, for about $2,000 each.

Over a number of years, 41-year-old Praepitcha Smatsorabudh, a preschool teacher in Arlington County, used an ingenious scam to supplement her day-job paycheck. She would buy high end bags like Gucci, Burberry and Fendi online, and then return fake ones she had specially made in China and Hong Kong. Court documents revealed that in order to cover her trail, she traveled to over 60 T.J. Maxx stores in 12 states, to return the bags, and used 16 different credit cards when making new purchases. Smatsorabudh’s scheme was so incredibly successful that at one point she was T.J. Maxx’s number one online client in the world.

praepitcha-smatsorabudh-bags ..

China’s Increasing “Bride Price” Makes Marriage Virtually Impossible for Poor Bachelors

0 CommentsStumble it Icon digg it Icon

The shortage of women caused by China’s one-child policy, combined with the country’s economic boom over the last two decades have made marriage a grim prospect for poor men in rural regions. These two factors have bumped up the “bride price” to hundreds of thousands of yuan, sometimes even millions, obscene amounts that most men can’t hope of raising without taking a bank loan.

The bride price is a a centuries-old Chinese tradition that survived and even thrived in the Communist era. It’s similar to the Western tradition of dowry, only it requires a prospective groom to pay the family of the bride for permission to marry her. In the 60’s and 70’s, the bride price was paid in modest gifts ranging from a simple thermos to bedding. During the 80’s television sets and refrigerators were popular gifts offered as bride prices, but since the economy started to grow in the 1990’s, the payment switched to hard cash and the sums demanded by the family of the bride have been rising ever since.

But perhaps the best explanation for the ever-increasing bride price is the gender inequality in China. During the days of the one-child policy, the preference for males strong enough to work and later look after their elderly parents led to a huge increase in sex-selective abortion and even infanticide of female babies. As a result, Harvard researchers claim that today there are 118 men for every 100 women in China, and the proportion is actually worse in poor rural regions.

bride-price-china ..

This American Couple Are the World’s Most Tattooed Senior Citizens

0 CommentsStumble it Icon digg it Icon

At age 67, Charlotte Guttenberg holds the Guinness record for the world’s most tattooed female senior citizen, with 91.5% of her body covered in artistic inking. Her life partner, 75-year-old Charles “Chuck” Helmke, holds the same record for the male category, with 93.75% of his body covered in colorful tattoos.

Charlotte only started getting tattoos 11 years ago, when she decided to get a butterfly inked on her chest, as a birthday present. She had always been fascinated with tattoos as an art form, but her late husband, who passed away in 2001, didn’t approve of them. She hadn’t planned on having almost her entire body covered in permanent artworks, but after that first tattoo, she couldn’t stop adding more of them, and over just one decade, she managed to cover 91.5% with ink. She is now pretty much a walking, talking body mural.

most-tattooed-senior-citizens ..

Indian Woman Returns Home 40 Years After Being Laid to Rest

0 CommentsStumble it Icon digg it Icon

Two Indian sisters recently got the shock of their lives after their 82-year-old mother showed up at their doorstep 40 years after they had laid her body to rest on the Ganges river, following a cobra bite.

It all started on a summer day in 1976, when 42-year-old Vilasa, a woman from Bidhoo village, India’s Kanpur district, went out into the fields to collect fodder for the family animals, as she had done countless time before. Only this time, she unknowingly got to close to a black cobra snake, and got bit. Upon returning home, her family immediately took her to a traditional healer, but his methods failed to alleviate the effects of the venom, and Vilasa soon lost consciousness.

Thinking she had died, her family wrapped the woman’s body in cloth, placed it on a wooden float and released into the sacred Ganges river, hoping it would bring her to life. Open-air cremation is practiced by millions of Indian Hindus, with the ashes of their loved-ones then scattered in holy bodies of water, but in the case of snake bites, some believe that the sacred river can wash away the poison from the body and bring the person back to life. It wasn’t something Vilasa’s family actually expected, though.

indian-miracle ..

Pay as You Flush – Landlord Allegedly Installs Coin-Operated Toilet in Rented Apartment

2 CommentsStumble it Icon digg it Icon

An apartment tenant in Melbourne, Australia, has recently taken to Reddit to complain about his landlord installing a system that allegedly requires him to insert one dollar every time he wants to flush the toilet.

“Is it legal for my landlord to have installed a coin-operated flusher on my toilet?” the title of the tenants Reddit post reads. He goes on to explain that he understands having to pay for the communal washing machine when doing the laundry, but since he pays the water bill for the rented apartment, having to pay extra every time he needs to flush the toilet seems a bit much.

“He said it was a government incentive to save water. But then why does he get to collect the money?” the Redditor asks. “I see nothing on google about this so I can’t work out if I’m being duped?”

coin-operated-toilet ..

Japanese Man Hasn’t Spoken to His Wife in 20 Years, Despite Living in the Same House

2 CommentsStumble it Icon digg it Icon

Despite living under the same roof and raising their three children together, a Japanese husband hasn’t spoken a single word to his wife in the last 20 years.

No marriage is perfect, and spouses sometimes give each other the silent treatment when they’re upset. But either they go their separate ways or try to patch things up and move on. But not Okou Katayama. For the past two decades he has only answered his wife Yumi’s attempts at making conversation with occasional nods and grunts. Their unusual relationship was revealed by their 18-year-old son Yoshiki, who appealed to a Japanese TV show to help him fix things, as he had never heard his parents talk to each other.

okou-katayama ..

San Francisco Restaurant Serves Food on iPads instead of Plates

1 CommentStumble it Icon digg it Icon

Technology is seeping into everything, even restaurant tableware. Quince, a Michelin-starred restaurant in San Francisco has recently swapped ol’ fashioned porcelain plates with Apple iPads for a couple of its most popular dishes.

Restaurants have been using tablets instead of classic menus for years now, and some have even introduced app-powered ordering and payment options, but until not too long ago, plating seemed to be immune to this high-tech trend. They’re feeling the heat now, though, as more and more restaurants swap them out for futuristic tablet-based dishes, in an effort to attracts tech aficionados with and appetite for fine cuisine.

The latest to join the exclusive restaurants where tablet plating is actually a thing is Quince, a San Francisco eatery run by Michael and Lindsey Tusk. They are serving a dish called ‘A Dog in Search of Gold’ on an Apple iPad that’s playing a video of a dog hunting for truffles. If you’re wondering about the connection, the dish is composed of white truffle croquettes. And in case you’re not into truffles, Quince also serves frog legs on top of iPads playing videos of frogs in a pond.

quince-ipad-plates ..

Nexsey – A Sticky Tape That Makes Your Neck Look Years Younger

0 CommentsStumble it Icon digg it Icon

Nexsey is a medical tape designed to make women’s necks look thinner and younger. All you have to do is pinch the loose skin, tape it at the back of your neck, and voila – you just rolled back the clock by a few years.

Nexsey is the brainchild of Linda Gomez, a seasoned beauty product inventor and author of the Baby Boomer Beauty Blog. She claims that she was inspired to create this unusual sticky tape after hearing from women all over the world who had problems with their neck area. Some of them just couldn’t afford corrective surgical procedures, and other were looking for non-invasive alternatives.

“As I started to learn about the options for sagging skin around the neckline, it became obvious that even for women who had undergone a facelift, many still showed signs of aging in the neck area,” Linda writes on her website. “I heard from women all over the world asking about options for other “trouble areas” and neck issues were at the top of the list!”

nexsey-tape ..

Girl Turns to Cow Riding After Being Denied a Horse

0 CommentsStumble it Icon digg it Icon

After being told that she could not have a horse because they were too expensive, 11-year-old Sarah Simpson, decided to try the next best thing – riding a cow. Now 18, Sarah has her own horse, but she still rides her favorite cow, Lilac, just as much, if not more than she used to.

Sarah had been dreaming of having her own horse for as long as she can remember, but after her parents told her that buying one was to expensive, she discovered that riding a cow could be just as fun. It all started when her younger brother, Tim, dared her to try it, and even though she had no riding experience, she jumped on Lilac, a 6-months-old calf living on the family farm. The animal didn’t seem to mind, so she kept on doing it for the last six and a half years.

hannah-simpson-lilac2 ..

This Device Lets You Charge Your Phone on the Go Using Your Body’s Own Energy

1 CommentStumble it Icon digg it Icon

HandEnergy is an ingenious apple-sized device that charges your phone anytime, anywhere. But what really makes this thing special is the fact that it uses your own personal energy to do it.

In a time where power-banks and solar-power devices have become mainstream, a device that lets you charge gadgets on the go doesn’t sound very special. But while power-banks have to be charged the old fashioned way, and solar panels need the sun to store energy, HandEnergy just needs a hand. And I mean that quite literally. To get this little guy to produce energy, which it then stores in built-in batteries, all you have to do is hold it in your hand and rotate your wrists.

handenergy ..

Japanese Boutique Sells Jeans That Have Been Worn for at Least a Year

0 CommentsStumble it Icon digg it Icon

The Onomichi Denim Project, a chic boutique in Onomichi, Japan’s Hiroshima Prefecture, is a popular destination for denim enthusiasts looking for a pair of truly special jeans. The shop is well-known around Japan and even abroad for selling premium jeans that have been worn by select members of the local community for at least one year.

Selling used jeans, or any other type of clothing for that matter, is not exactly a new business model, but Onomichi Denim Project is not your average second-hand denim retailer. Created in 2013, as a collaborative effort between local designer Yoshiyuki Hayashi, textile expert Yukinobu Danjo, and Discoverlink Setouchi, an organization that aims to supports local industry, the minimalist boutique aims to draw attention to the city’s top-quality craftsmanship and its people in a unique way. Plus, while used denim is generally sold at a discount, these particular jeans actually get about twice as a expensive after being worn by somebody almost daily, for at least a year.

onomichi-denim-project4 ..

Page 2 of 18312345...102030...Last »