The earthquake and subsequent devastation in Japan has prompted Toyota to warn its U.S. plants that they may have to shut down, due to parts shortages from Japan. [More]
Cause for more worry in Japan, as the latest news about the damaged nuclear reactor isn’t good — traces of radioactive iodine have been detected in Tokyo tap water, officials said Saturday. Radation was also detected at spinach and milk farms near the Fukushima Dai-ichi complex. [More]
Several telecommunications providers are giving US customers free long-distance calls and texts to Japan. AT&T, Verizon, Comcast and TWC are all waiving charges. AT&T is giving 60 minutes of free talk time between the US and Japan until the end of the month. Verizon is offering $0.00/minute rates between the two countries until April 15. Comcast is giving away free calls to voice customers through April 11. Time Warner Cable is giving digital phone customers free calls to Japan through April 15. A helping hand for those looking to connect with a friend, colleague or loved one over in Japan. [More]
The fear of a nuclear meltdown in Japan has led a number of people here in the U.S. and Canada to snatch up a drug used to protect thyroid glands following a nuclear accident. [More]
Ever stepped up to a vending machine and scratched your head as you mulled over the options? Now there’s a vending machine in Japan that will recommend certain products for you — based on your face. [More]
See if you can guess before this Japanese ad is over what the product is they’re actually advertising. Go on, I dare you. [More]
Hang needed to ship three large pieces of art to Japan in time for a gallery opening, but UPS had other plans. Rather than weigh the boxes properly or fill out the right customs forms, UPS decided to charge Hang $1,600 for a job that should’ve cost $950. Because the customs forms were improper, one of the boxes was returned as undeliverable, while another was stuck in customs and didn’t arrive until after the opening. Hang only wants UPS to refund the $650 overcharge, but UPS thinks Hang is being greedy. [More]
Looks like the Nintendo DS isn’t just for MarioKart and Brain Age. According to a new report, burger biggie McDonald’s is looking to use the handheld gaming device as an employee-training tool. [More]
Toyota has been criticized–and rightly so–for its handling of the recall clusterfracas in the United States and Europe. But how many cars have been recalled for possible unintended acceleration issues in Japan, where consumer protections are much weaker than in the U.S., Canada, and the E.U.? According to today’s New York Times, that would be zero. Even though some Japanese drivers have had similar runaway acceleration incidents, consumer protection in Japan is weak and the government tends to side with industry. This means that car owners experiencing problems have nowhere to turn. [More]
A man was found dead inside the landing gear of Delta airplane landing in Tokyo enroute from New York. Doctors speculated that he froze to death and had a shortage of oxygen when the plane reached over 30,000 feet. Sheesh, we know the seats are cramped but this is ridiculous. What happens when you climb into an airplane’s fuselage and it takes off? This clip from “1000 Ways To Die” explains: [More]
More prawn udang crisps? How about some Chocolate Collan? These and other exotic delights can be found in Steve Portigal’s Museum of Foreign Groceries. Zipping around the world as a product consultant, Steve snaps pictures of kooky food packages from foreign lands and uploads them to this Flickr set. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a craving for Pringles, Wild ConsommÃ© flavor.
Museum of Foreign Groceries [Flickr]
Japan has raised the stakes in the couch potato wars, and is producing a sleeping bag with legs. It’s like a snowsuit. For grown-ups. Except you can’t use your arms. [More]
A worker at a McDonald’s branch in Japan died of “karoshi” — the Japanese term for death from overwork — according to officials at the local government labor bureau. The employee, a 41-year-old woman, had put in about 80 hours a month in overtime for six months before she died. “We determined her work caused the illness,” said an official at the agency.
What could be more American than celebrating the launch of a new product with an almost comically unhealthy fast-food product? Unfortunately, the seven-patty Windows 7 Whopper is only available in Japan.
Would you like your morning coffee with a side of Domo-kun? In one of those odd twists of globalization and marketing synergy, the mascot of Japanese public television network NHK has found his way onto 99 cent cups of coffee and special Slurpee cups at 7-Eleven stores in the United States.