Japan invents the Segway! (again)

Honda’s UNI-CUB Is Amazing, Least-Efficient Water Delivery System Ever
jalopnik.com 2015Jan13
Honda demonstrated their UNI-CUB motorized chair-thing, which they’re using to develop the world’s least-efficient method of single water-bottle delivery. Seeing it in action, I’m very impressed...more...

The rest-of-the-story is that Segway-type devices are illegal to use in Japan on public roads* (3Yen 2006-11-14)segway2 (and sidewalks haven’t been invented yet in Japan) so all this “innovation” of copying the the failed personal transporter market is just Honda spinning their wheels in a product segment that has proven to be a loss for more than a decade.

Previous reports Japan inventing the Segway (again) on the 3Yen include:
   • They see em rollin, they hatin’… (3Yen / 2010-05-16)
   • Toyota invents the Segway! (3Yen / 2008-08-06)
   • Toshiba invents the Segway (3Yen / 2006-11-14)
   • Better than the Segway or ‘Jegway’ (3Yen / 2006-11-29)
   • Time Magazine names Toyota’s i-unit™ ‘coolest’
        (3Yen / 2005-11-17)
 i-unit ev by toyota

Japanese scientists succeed in making true salarymen

Dobu-nezumi (溝ねずみ) = lit. ditch rat
Dobunezumi is rather rude Japanese slang for salarymen dressed in monotonously grey suits.

Japanese scientists succeed in making true ‘Dobunezumi’

The reason I called these transparent mice “true salarymen” is that ideal state for a Japanese person is to melt into the crowd of other Japanese—to be “transparent.”
For the 25 years I worked in fetid bowels of corporate Japan, the standard joke among my Japanese office mates was:

Q: What do you call a salaryman with an opinion?
A: Unemployed.

My Neighbor Totoro Worm?

One of Japan’s favorite anime’s characters, My Neighbor Totoro –– Tonari no Totoro (imdb.com), has a new scientific friend: the Eoperipatus totoro!


questioning totoro

Actually, the Eoperipatus totoro has been discovered for few years but was only formally described in 2013. The generic name Eoperipatus is derived from a Greek combining form of ēṓs, meaning “early” or “primeval”, and peripatos, meaning “walking about”. Miyazaki's anime My Neighbor Totoro cat bus

The specific name “totoro” refers to the Japanese animated film My Neighbor Totoro since the scientists were reminded specifically of the multiple legged caterpillar-like Catbus in the film when they saw the crawling velvet worm—(Wikipedia).

My Neighbor Totoro plushie collection J-List

Previous 3Yen reports of the mysteries of the Nekko Bus from My Neighbor Totoro include:

Funny phobia — weirdo weenie worries of the Japanese

One of the strangest Japanese neurosis is “Phimosis“—non-retracting or tight foreskin. Phimosis phobia cuts across all of society. Every Japanese mens magazine and manga has advertisements for phimosis treatments. New Japanese mothers are instructed on how to repeatedly “retract” the foreskin of their young boys* so they will not suffer the horrors genital binding and phimosis-induced insanity, ha, ha.

Foreskin clip joints take unwary males for a ride
Japan Today /2014Sep19
More males in Japan are undergoing esthetic surgical procedures to improve their appearance or boost their self esteem…{Japanese males} turned to legal help after undergoing {unneeded adult} circumcisions.
Only in a small number of cases are circumcisions necessary for medical reasons, and such individuals can make use of their national health insurance to have the procedure done inexpensively. But rather than provide such explanations, unethical dealers in the foreskin removal trade might tell them, “Your circulation is being constricted” or “There’s a chance you’ll develop cancer”
More uncut…


More about these silly phobic fears refer to the Mainichi Daily News, Japan (September 21, 2005):
Peeling back the facts on the cruelest cut of all

Also see the previous 3Yen post Japan (August 2005): Japan’s Puberty Hotline

Instant death noodles of Japan

Japan’s own invention (Wiki) Instant death in a cup— is finally attracting attention the love it deserves for its extruded soft wheat flour with no vitamins or other nutritional value, laden with MSG, deep fried in saturated-fat palm oil to maintain its spirochete shape and served in a broth choked with salt, lard and preservatives—OISHI(YUM)!

UFO ramen

Instant noodles: Heart disease in a cup?
lohud.com 2014/08/21
The study, published in The Journal of Nutrition, found that eating instant noodles two or more times a week was associated with cardiometabolic syndrome, a disorder that can raise the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes
Mary Gocke, director of nutrition at the Blum Center for Health in Rye Brook.
The preservatives in most containers of instant noodles — combined with their packaging, usually in styrofoam cups — creates a “perfect storm” that can have a serious impact on the body, says Gocke, a registered dietitian. “Besides being carcinogens, they’re neurotoxic, and on top of that they’re endocrine disruptors” ...more...

Other 3Yen reports of deadly Japanese ramen include:

A fair shake … Japan style

akb48 handshake event

Late last May, two members of the megapopular idol group “AKB48″ had to be hospitalized after they were attacked by a crazed fan wielding with a saw during the group’s meet ’n’ greet. Since then there has been much angst about how to safely hold akushukai / “handshaking” events.

Many ideas have been suggested (3Yen / 2014-05-26 ), but the following was the most “Japanese” solution.


Translation: This new video conference system that can shake hands was created by a research group of the University of Osaka. The system allows you to remotely shake hands with a distant person by tele-connecting them using a robot pseudo-hand during an online conversation.

Mission accomplished! icon_thumbsup