March 22, 2005

Popee the Performer

I found this weird mask in the bargain bin of an Akiba used computer store. I originally thought it might be for doing video chat or holding up banks.

The truth, as it turns out, is only slightly less weird. It's a screensaver from Popee the Performer, a 3D Japanese anime series that aired briefly on one of the satellite TV channels here.

The show takes place in a circus in the middle of a desert (flat yellow backgrounds were easier to render). Popee is a human clown and his sidekick, Kedamono, is a wolf.

Like any wolf should be, Kedamono is ashamed of his lupine nature, so he wears a never-ending series of masks to display his current emotional state. The screensaver mask is apparently one of these -- "surprised", by the looks of it.

Sadly, Popee was apparently a passing fad. It still retails for 6,090 Yen at Rukuten (here for the side-splitting machine translation), but the used computer place had it for 500.

Posted by pmk at 2:44 PM | Comments (2)

March 21, 2005

700,000 kilometers in 7 years

Some friends and I caught a cab in Western Kyoto last week. When I got in the cab, I noticed that the driver's cab license, which is always posted on the dashboard in Japanese cabs, said something about 700,000 kilometers (about 435,000 miles).

I asked him about it and it turns out he had, in fact, driven over 700,000 kilometers--All of them in and around Kyoto. Incredibly, though, those 700,000 kilometers had been driven in just over 7 years. That's over 150 miles per day, assuming you worked 365 days a year, for 7 years.

Incredible.

Posted by pmk at 6:01 AM | Comments (2)

March 12, 2005

Caught in the Act

Walking in the rain in Nagoya, I caught this coke machine in the act of rebooting. Two vending machine repairfolks were working on it and got all agitated when they saw me taking a picture. Heaven forbid I should endanger Japan's soft drink distribution system through unauthorized disclosure!

Update:

jsuen set me up the bomb with this funny remix:

Posted by pmk at 12:09 AM | Comments (3)

March 11, 2005

Bugland!

On my way from Nagoya University to Nagoya station, I saw this store. The name translates, according to Yukari, as "Kingdom of Insects".

As far as I can tell, it's a bug pet store (click the pic for more detail -- my cameraphone, sadly, doesn't have a zoom lens. Yet.). I am totally going back to Nagoya to check this place out.

(ps -- happy belated birthday to patrick.com. Thanks to Ted Warin for noticing!)

Posted by pmk at 4:49 AM | Comments (0)

March 9, 2005

Overheard in Hiroo

One American teenager to another:

I don't love my mother enough to eat a whole tarantula for her.

Would she eat half a tarantula for her mom?

Posted by pmk at 11:27 PM | Comments (0)