Category Archives: Trends

Japanese Endless Peeling Banana Toy

Bored? Have nothing better to do? Craving for a banana? Fear not! The Japanese have once again release some weird, but unique gadget to satisfy your craves! Introducing the “Endless Banana” created by Epoch.

Bananas have been one of the most popular food for breakfast this year in Japan. However, with the shortage of banana being imported into the country, it is hard to satisfy those that are craving for bananas. Epoch saw this as an opportunity for a new toy to temporary satisfy these banana-craze bunch.

Every peel of the toy makes a sound. The sound are actually human voice recordings from voice actress, Saki Fujita. (It is actually a comical sound like BOING and not real peelings sounds)

So, for you banana lovers out there… go BANANA!!

via [Kilian]

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Apple iPod Event 2008 – Summary

Although week behind, let’s take a look at what the event talked about:

iTunes 8

Apple’s music player – iTunes was introduced first during last Monday’s event. The newest version, iTunes 8 is free to be download anytime now. There are a few new features on the player, but the most important of them all was the Genius function.

Genius, is a function in iTunes that automatically creates a playlist for you.

iTunes creates a playlist of other songs from your library that go great together. Genius playlists help you discover songs in your library you never knew you had — and rediscover forgotten favorites. — Excerpt from Apple

Other changes included coverflow, new ways of organizing, view, and searching (just like iLife).

iPod Classic

The only changes to the iPod Classic was – dropping the thicker version and adding more memories to the slimmer one. Since “almost” everybody, as Steve Jobs mentioned, bought the slim version, Apple has decided to stop producing the thicker one. As for the size, the slim iPod Classic will changed from 80GB to 120GB (same price as the old).

New iPod nano

I knew I was right! They have re-design the iPod nano and now introducing the newest iPod nano chromatic. Yes, they are in colors again with more choices this time. The screen is still the same, they added the accelerometer (found in iPhones and iPod touch), they improved the interface, and added a voice recording features.

With the new accelerometer added onto the new nano, you can now shake the iPod the change songs. This feature was first introduced to the iPhone. They also implemented the Genius function, without having connected to iTunes. They are available now in stores near you for:

8 GB for $149*
16 GB for $199*

*In American Dollars

The Funnest iPod Ever – iPod touch

Here’s are the changes to the newest 2nd generation iPod touch:

  • More thinner than the first generation.
  • New designs – like a side volume control.
  • New full chrome on the back of the iPod.
  • Genius added on.
  • The ability to play more advanced games. Games like Spore, Need for Speed Undercover, etc.
  • Nike + iPod support built in – only useful when you buy the Nike shoes that is compatible with it.
  • Maps location-based service – with the Map apps, it detects the closest Wifi location and show where you are.

iPod touch is now available for:

8 GB for $229*
16 GB for $299*
32 GB for $399*

*In American Dollars

Others:

  • Apple In-Ear Headphones with Remote and Mic

Sources:
Ubergizmo
Apple

The not-so Anticipated Apple Event?

A week ago, it was confirmed that the next Apple Event, which occurs every year, is to held at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater in San Francisco on tomorrow – September 9 at 10:00 AM (Pacific Time) when Apple sent invitations along with the tag line: “Let’s Rock”.

It was, however, reported that it would have nothing to do with the Macs, only iPods. This might not be new to people since they does this every year. There has been rumors going around on the Internet for awhile about new iPods, possible new designs, etc.

Somehow the event does not stir as much excitement that it use to have for me.

Anyways, here is what I guess the event would be about:

  1. Dropping prices for current iPod/iPhones.
    Price dropping of their iPods occurs every year. I am positive there will be some price dropping somewhere in the iPod lines this year as well.
  2. Increasing disk space for current iPods/iPhone.
    Probably a 40GB iPod Touch now? I don’t know about you, but I am a big fan of large disk spaces! (Need more space for my iPod Touch!!)
  3. New or redesigned iPods.
    It should be about time to make something new or even redesigning the iPod Nano into an iPod Nano Touch? I would not be surprise to see a smaller size Touch though. A slimmer iPod Touch or iPhone would be sexy too!
  4. New apps introduce for iPod/iPhones.
    Surely this must be some new applications for the iPod Touch and iPhone right?! Then again I don’t think people would be interested in it with jailbreaking and hacks spreading across. They might even implement some new type of security feature against this too!
  5. Changes in the iTunes store.
    Nothing much anticipated here, since I don’t use the iTunes store at all. But most likely, Apple might add more options, completely redo of the cover albums and organization, new movies, new cooperation with another entertainment company, etc.
  6. More of those compatible products?
    Remember the AppleTV and such? I am guessing probably some improvements there with the iPods? Or even a new product that goes with the iPod/iPhone lines.

Whatever they present tomorrow, it will definitely change the iPods and iPhones in someway. Hopefully they can get rid of that volume limit thingy or fix their iTunes player. I been having trouble with the iTunes for awhile now.

Hmm… I am still not excited about the event tomorrow though. Hopefully, it will turn out the other way around and blows my mind off!

Rice lovers: Should We Wash Our Rice?

“Should we wash our rice?” or “How many times do we need to wash it?”. Many of us rice lovers might have wonder about similar questions some point in life. On the process of finding information, I came across many different opinions on washing rice. Some say you do not need to, others say you do. There are even some that it is needed to wash multiple times!

Here are some views from different sources I came across – people I know, Internet, and reading materials – on the subject:

The YES:

Since my first time for cooking rice, I was taught that I should wash the rice thoroughly. Not just once, twice, but three times. I was told that those particles in the cloudy water are “chemicals” to make the rice look white. Some said it was fertilizer. It was said that by washing rice, you would get the dirt, chemicals, and unwanted things from your rice.

The NO:

After few years of washing rice, I started to wonder myself. Is it really necessary to wash my rice? First, I asked around the people that I know. Most of them told me that I should not wash it too thoroughly. Just a rinse is enough. They said: “by over washing it, you will wash away the proteins, minerals, and the good stuffs that are in it.”

So is there a correct answers to these questions? No. In fact, each methods of cooking rice is your own choice. Everybody has their own ways of doing things and own belief. Asian tends to tell people to wash rice, whereas it is different for others.

Another piece of information was about people adding nutrients back onto the rice in North America. These contain starch. This is probably why if you don’t wash your rice, the textures becomes stickier.

Chinese? Japanese? Korean? How to Tell the Differences?

If you are Asian like myself, I am sure that there was some point in your life you were mistaken as one of the three cultures – Chinese, Japanese, or Korean. Caucasian friends of mine have always told me that we look, talk, speak, and think the same. Aside from that, sometimes our similarity in traditions and cultures could confuse people too. There might be some truth to that, but apparently, we’re different in ways. The following are some differences that you can take note of. Some does not apply to ALL Chinese, Japanese, or Korean, but however, I hope it can help you a little for distinguishing.


(Chinese Korean, Korean Chinese, Japanese)

  1. The Language. All I hear is Ching Chong Chung.
    This really made me laugh when my housemate told me that. That’s all the sounds he hears from my entire conversation (which was in Cantonese – a dialect of Chinese). However Ching Chong Chung does resembles Cantonese, but it does not apply to Japanese, Korean, or Mandarin. Languages of the oriental nations does derives from a single or similar origin, but throughout millenniums it has diversified. Here’s some example in phonetic for saying “How are you” in each language respectively:

    Chinese (Cantonese) – Nay Ho Ma?
    Chinese (Mandarin) – Ni Hao Ma?
    Japanese ——— Ogenki desu ka?
    Korean ———– Ahn-nyong-ha-se-yo?

  2. Bowing as a Custom.
    The Japanese might have been known for bowing more than any other Asian countries. Although not as formal as the Japanese, the Chinese and Korean also bow – either for respect, death, or apologies. In modern China, handshake is more likely to be used than bowing. However, the opposite for Japanese. Korean also bow as a greet to upperclassmen or elders.
  3. Eating Rice.
    One interesting that I learned from my Japanese and Korean friends were that we “eat” rice differently. I don’t mean we cook it differently, we make it all the same – with a rice cooker! 🙂 What I meant was how we put it in our mouth. The Chinese usually picks up the rice bowl and scoop rice into their mouth with a chopstick (used like a spoon). The Japanese picks up their bowl and “picks” rice bit by bit with their chopsticks, without having their mouth on their bowls. They find “scooping” to be impolite. The Korean “pick” rice like the Japanese, but does not lift up their bowl. I am not sure if this is true, but I am sure there is some truth to it.
  4. Chinese has Slanted Eyes, Korean has Rounder Faces, and Japanese are shorter.
    Although some of it might apply, but I have to say this is a stereotype for years. Eyes varies from different people, so the Chinese can’t possibly be all slanted eyes. There are long faces Korean that I know of. The average height of Japanese have rose over the years. Haha.. However I do find some are true.
  5. Cultures.
    In my opinion, Chinese have lost their cultural heritage since decades ago. You won’t see us Chinese wearing any traditional “Han” clothes anymore, you see jeans! However, this is not the case for the Japanese and Korean as they have their Kimono and Jeogori. As Asia becomes more in connect with the West, this perception is tend to change. Today, we see Japanese fashion becoming more Westernized. So is the Korean – in movies, songs, arts and pop cultures.

The points above are what I see and not really any indication of how to separate the 3 people apart. If you ask me whether I can distinguish between the 3, I would say no either. It is just like asking, “can you distinguish between English, Scottish, or Welsh? Or even American and Canadian? Not really. Well, hope I didn’t bored you! Enjoy!

Websites That Might Interest You:

All Look Same

Kuma Phone: Teddy Bears Invading the Mobile Phone?

It is probably known to many that the Japanese have some unique and somewhat bizzare ideas on gadgets. With the idea of mashing a teddy bear and mobile phone? Wow, they never fail to amaze me!

A sample of the Kuma phone (bear phone in Japanese) was recently demonstrated in Japan by Willcom. As reported, the crowd just simply adores it. The Kuma phone has most of the functions that you would expect to find in a typical mobile phone – such as speed dials (in the paws), vibrations, custom noises for incoming call, and answering/ending call button (at the tail).

The phone was reported to be priced at $500. I am not sure if it would attract me over with the size of it and at the same range of an iPhone, but I am sure it will definitely attract quite an amount of Japanese girls as it is obviously targeting towards female.

[via Engadget]