Nearly All Phones in Japan Are Waterproof Because People Need to Use Them in the Shower

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Waterproof smartphones are becoming more common in Western markets, but they are hardly the norm. In Japan however, almost all phones are waterproof, and have been for nearly a decade now. According to statistics, 90% to 95% of phones in Japan are waterproof, because people need to be able to use them while they are showering.

Japanese users are apparently so attached to their phones that they even bring them into the shower. Manufacturers were aware of this unusual habit early on and realized that in order to succeed in japan, they had to make their devices water resistant. The world’s first waterproof mobile phone, the Casio Canu 502S, was release in 2005, and was soon followed by a series of Fujitsu waterproof handhelds. Before long, every company looking to enter Japanese market had to make their devices waterproof.

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Chinese Zoo Puts Husky Dog in Wolf Pen

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A zoo in Dezhou City, east China’s Shandong Province, recently attracted criticism for placing a husky dog in a pen populated by a dozen wolves, as a way to create more fun for tourists.

Chinese animal lovers raised the alarm about the unusual member of the wolf pack after a video shot by a tourist at Dezhou zoo went viral on Weibo, China’s version of Twitter. He explained that he happened to be visiting the zoo when he saw a strange-looking wolf limping around in a pen full of actual wolves. It didn’t take him long to figure out that the animal was some kind of Husky-Alaskan-mix canine.

“As we all know, wolves like living with each other and have a strong sense of territory,” the man, surnamed Huang, wrote in the post. “Don’t you think it would be miserable for the dog to live there?” He also mentioned that the dog was obviously wounded, as it was struggling to walk on just three legs. His video attracted a lot of attention, with the vast majority of commenters accusing the zoo for acting irresponsibly.

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Japan’s Unique Museum of Stones Shaped Like Human Faces

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Chinsekikan, or The Hall of Curious Rocks is a unique museum in the Japanese town Saitama, just outside Tokyo, where visitors can admire close to 1,000 rocks that resemble human faces.

This outlandish tourist attraction is the work of the late Shozo Hayama, a rock enthusiast who spent 50 years of his life collecting strange-looking rocks, and especially those that resembled human faces. His only requirement was that nature be the only artist, and believe it or not he actually put together a collection of over 900 human-looking rocks, some of which resemble famous people, like rock’n roll legend Elvis Presley or Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.

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Hong Kong’s Unique Sanctuary of Discarded Deities

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In Hong Kong, when people damage their statues of deities or simply replace them with newer ones, they don’t throw them away. Instead they leave them on the side of the road for people to worship or take them home. One man has been picking them up for over 17 years, and today his colorful collection is one of the island’s most impressive tourist attractions.

85-year-old Wong Wing-pong, a retired butcher, looks after thousands of unwanted statues of deities, including Buddhas, Taoist deities, local gods and Christian icons. They are all perched on a rocky slope in a park near the waterfront in Wah Fu. Legend has it that he picked this spot because it already had a statue of Tin Hau, the patron goddess of fishermen, and he believed it would make it easier for people to come see both the Buddhas and the goddess at the same time. However, he recently told news reporters that it was simply the place where he found the first discarded statues, a few dozen of them, 17 years ago.

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Masked Speed Dating Hopes to Save Shy Japanese Singles

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A Tokyo-based dating service is trying to make it easier for shy Japanese singles to interact with the opposite sex by organizing masked speed dating effects where participants wear surgical masks to help them be more outgoing.

Surgical masks have been a big part of Japanese culture for many years. Some people wear them on the street everyday, be it to avoid catching diseases, to prevent hay fever and other allergic reactions, or simply to keep their faces warm. But the people at Def Anniversary, a popular dating service in Tokyo, have come up with a new use for the humble accessory – they’ve turned into a tool for konkatsu (marriage hunting). At their speed dating events, singles meet at various locations all over Japan, and spend a limited amount of time trying to learn as much about them as they can, but the catch is that everyone has to wear a surgical mask, so the focus is less on physical appearance and more on personality and character.

“In order to achieve marriage, it is important to provide chances to know a partner’s personality and values in the early stages,” said Kei Matsumura, head of Tokyo dating service Def Anniversary. “We chose surgical masks as an essential tool for that.”

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8-Year-Old Boy Puts on 11 Kilos in 2 Months to Save Dying Father’s Life

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Cao Yinpeng, an 8-year-old from Xuzhou, East China’s Jiangsu province, underwent a rigorous fattening up regiment, in order to qualify for a bone marrow transplant necessary to save his father’s life.

Earlier this year, Cao’s father was diagnosed with leukemia and doctors told the family that he needed a hematopoietic stem cell transplant to survive. Unfortunately, there were no compatible donors within the China Marrow Donor Program, the Asian country’s marrow bank. The man’s parents were a match, but had to be ruled out due to their advanced age, which only left 8-year-old Cao Yinpeng. China’s marrow donor program website states that donors should be between the ages of 18 and 45, but doctors do make exceptions in desperate situations such as this. But while they agreed to operate on the boy to harvest the life-saving stem cells, they did make it clear that he had to reach the minimum donor weight requirement of 45kg to qualify for the procedure.

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IKEA Store Can’t Keep Elderly Freeloaders Out of Its Cafe

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An IKEA store in Shanghai, China claims it has been forced to enforce special rules in order to keep elderly freeloaders from virtually taking over the place for hours at a time and engaging in blind dating sessions.

IKEA is very popular in China. Some people love the furniture mega-stores so much that they spend whole days in them without buying a single item. A few years ago we reported on a bizarre trend that involved people simply coming to IKEA and sleeping on the comfortable beds and sofas on display for hours, or just walking around and enjoying the free air conditioning. This kind of thing has been going on in China for the past 15 years, since the chain arrived in the Asian country, and it’s still very popular today. But it’s apparently not the only problem the Swedish retailer has been facing. Recently, an IKEA store in Shanghai has been dealing with a large group of elderly people that frequently spends hours in its popular cafe without buying anything.

Chinese media reports that dozens sometimes hundreds of elderly men and women meet up at the IKEA cafe in Shanghai every week, for long blind-dating sessions. They stay there for hours without buying any foods or drinks, and act like they own the place. According to a notice board put up by the Shanghai store, the group has been seriously affecting the cafe’s operations with their “uncivilized behavior”. Among the cited offences, the notice mentions “taking up seats for long hours, bringing outside food and tea, speaking loudly, spitting, and having quarrels and fights.”

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Indonesian Man Returns Home One Year after Being Confirmed Dead by His Family

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An Indonesian family got the shock of their life after their husband and father, 62-year-old Waluyo, just showed up at their doorstep one year after they had buried him. He was pronounced dead on May 15, 2015, after supposedly being involved in a car accident.

This bizarre story started last year, when Waluyo, from Suryoputran Panembahan village in Jogyakarta, left his home to work as a street cleaner in the city of Semarang, in order to support his family. It wasn’t long after his departure that his wife, Alim Eskatinah, got a call from the police who told her that Waluyo had been the victim of a serious car accident and was in critical condition at the emergency room. The whole family and even some of their neighbors rushed to the hospital to be by his side, but the injured man died after a few days. “In the hospital he was in a coma. Relatives and neighbors all visited him. He then died on May 7, 2015. Many came to his funeral, all the neighbors came,” Waluyo’s daughter, Anti Ristanti told Indonesian newspaper Detik.

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Fair Beauty – Vietnam’s Obsession with White Skin

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For most Vietnamese women, white skin is synonymous with feminine beauty, sophistication and high social status, and many of them cover themselves completely even in the middle of summer in order to protect their fair complexion from the sun’s rays.

In Vietnam, as in the majority of South East Asian countries, dark skin has always been associated with poverty and peasants working in paddy fields exposed to the mercy of the elements. So while in the Western world tanned skin is seen as healthy and beautiful, in countries like Vietnam, Japan or Indonesia, it is so frowned upon that it can sometimes be enough to drive away potential suitors in arranged marriages among middle-class families.

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Mistress Dispellers – The Controversial Services Keeping Chinese Families Together

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In the Western world, when a wife finds out her husband is having an affair she they either confronts him directly about it asking him to stop, or just gets a divorce. But things are a bit more complicated in China, due to the social stigma and financial burden associated with divorce, so an increasing number of women are turning to companies specializing in driving away mistresses. Introducing the “mistress dispellers”.

It’s not uncommon for Chinese businessmen and high ranking officials to signal their status by maintaining a mistress, and with the country’s economy growing at a rapid pace, it’s no wonder that “mistress dispeller” services that combat cheating are becoming very popular. For a considerable fee – typically starting in the tens of thousands of dollars – these companies will coach scorned wives how to strengthen their marriage while employing a variety of tactics to drive away the problematic mistress.

While it may sound like a scam to cheat the poor wives out of serious sums of money, mistress dispellers, or “xiaoshan quantui”, are apparently very good at what they do. Shu Xin, director of  Weiqing International Marriage Hospital Emotion Clinic Group, a mistress dispeller company based in Shanghai, says that every case starts with thorough research on the mistress. An investigation team will analyze her family, friends, education, job and daily habits looking for any information that could help them meet their goal.

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Chinese People Are Smashing Their iPhones in Bizarre Display of Patriotism

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After the International Court in Hague ruled that China has no historical claims to the the South China Sea and is breaching the sovereignty of the Philippines by exploring resources, Chinese citizens started showing their support for their country by boycotting American brands like Apple and KFC.

Soon after the landmark decision was reported by national news outlets, photos and videos of smashed up iPhones started showing up on Chinese social media. But what do the United States and Apple have to do with a conflict between China and the Philippines, you may ask. The U.S. is seen as a strong ally of the Philippines and since the Apple iPhone is apparently considered the ultimate American product, it became a prime target for people to direct their anger against.

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Fishing with Fire – A Mesmerizing Tradition of Taiwan

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For hundreds of years, fishermen in Taiwan have been catching sardines with the help of fiery stick held over the edge of a boat. The fish are so attracted to the light that they jump out of the water and into the nets of the fishermen.

Fire fishing is as simple as it is mesmerizing. Fishing boats head out to sea during the night, and light up a bamboo stick covered with sulfuric soil at one end to create a bright flame. The sulfur dissolves in the water and the gas produced then flashes with fire. Drawn to the light spectacle, sardines jump out of the water by the hundreds at a time and end up in the fishermen’s nets. Sulfuric fire fishing was developed during the period of Japanese Rule and is now practiced only in the Jinshan sulfur harbor.

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Woman Arrested for Posing as a Man to Marry Another Woman

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An Indonesian woman who went to great lengths to impersonate a man and even married another woman was recently detained by police after “his” wife alerted authorities about the deception.

40-year-old Surwati, who like most Indonesian goes by a single name, admitted to falsifying her identity and impersonating a man. She had taken the name Muhamad Efendi Saputra and told people “he” was a police officer. Her male impersonating skills were apparently stellar because she managed to full everybody and even convinced a woman into marriage. After a whirlwind romance lasting a couple of months, Muhamad married 25-year-old Heniyati in a ceremony on Java island. To avoid raising any suspicions, Surwati reportedly hired a number of people to pose as relatives of her male alter ego at the wedding.

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Indonesian Singer Performs for 45 Minutes after King Cobra Bite, Dies on Stage

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In a bizarre turn of events, Indonesian singer Irma Bule was bitten by a king cobra while performing on stage last Sunday. She chose to go on with the show, ignoring the enormous risk she was exposing herself to, and ultimately died within the hour.

Bule, 29, was a performer of Dangdut – a traditional folk music genre in Indonesia, very popular for its melodious vocals and instrumentation. It is precisely because of this popularity that the Dangdut scene is oversaturated and highly competitive in the island nation, forcing artists to employ all sorts of gimmicks to stand out and attract crowds. Bule was well known for performing with snakes on stage, and on this occasion, she was performing in the company of a king cobra – still venomous and not even defanged.

Video footage of her past performances indicate that Bule was very comfortable in the company of snakes, but something went terribly wrong on Sunday. According to eyewitnesses, she accidentally stepped on the snake’s tail early on during the concert, and it turned and bit her in the thigh. But instead of cancelling the performance, as most people bitten by a king cobra surely would have, the dedicated artist chose to continue with the show, and even refused an antidote that the snake handler offered her.

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Compassionate Store Manager Offers Shoplifter a Job Instead of Calling Police

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After catching a shoplifter trying to steal from a Tesco hypermarket in Malaysia, the store manager chose not to turn the man in to the police, but actually offer him a job at the very same store!

It turns out that the shoplifter, a 31-year-old father of three, had stolen food worth RM27 (about $7) out of sheer desperation, to feed his hungry children. “I had quit my job as a contract worker after my wife fell into a coma during a birth complication last week,” he told the local media. “She is still warded at the Bukit Mertajam hospital.”

The man, who is currently living with his relatives in the city, said he was walking back home after visiting his wife in the hospital, when he happened to pass by the Tesco hypermarket. His two-year-old son was hungry and tired, so they decided to go inside. “After walking for more than an hour, we went to the food section and I grabbed the pears, apples, and a few bottles of drinks.” Unfortunately, he was caught while leaving the store, and later interrogated by general manager Radzuan Ma’asan.

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