Something smells fishy about this sushi

5 04 2010

Click frame for complete comic at Ménage á 3 (NB: comics can be NSFW).

One of the activities that has seen me diverted from blogging duties has been a Japanese language group I joined last year.

Despite Brisbane and Queensland in general being a popular destination for Japanese in Australia, the Japanese students and visitors I’ve met complain it is hard to find authentic Japanese cuisine. With sushi bars approximately every 200 meters, it may seem difficult to believe. But even I notice that many of the city’s sushi bars are actually owned an/or staffed by Koreans (complete with Korean signs, Korean pop star posters, and Korean community papers and zines on display etc.).

Korean restauranteurs posing as Japanese is not anything entirely new or restricted to just Brisbane or Australia (Ménage is set in Montreal, and here is an article with the Japanese government wagging a finger at L.A.). Why does it happen?

I can’t find anything exactly investigating the phenomenon. I don’t think it is because old war issues, because they are as likely to be with Japanese as Koreans. And I don’t think it is because people don’t like Korean food, because, at least in Brisbane there are still plenty of of Korean restaurants around. Anyone know of another suggestion? Perhaps it is just that there are some Koreans who open Japanese restaurants.





Laboratory lettuce

16 06 2009

Let’s break off from our Pharming exploits to look at some Farming exploits.

With more evidence that the future is now, Japan is looking to set up domestic “vegetable factories” to provide clean, safe and nutritious food for all.

The boom in intensive hydroponics has been attributed to fear of tainted imported fresh foods in the wake a of a few scandals.

Some industries you wouldn’t expect are even getting in on the act (the BBC video may look irrelevant but it’s not)

[I’ve popped the video below the line because for some reason it is stuck on autoplay] Read the rest of this entry »





Kangaroo sequences, cocaininated bees and stupid robots

30 12 2008

Here’s a rapid fire dump of some stories that remain in my “to post” box.

Yes, one’s that are trying to get away.





Japanese fashion hits a new low

14 11 2008

If I’m paying any attention to new sciborg assimilate Isis the Scientist, it appears that fashion is a subject of science.

Not content with breeding fertilizing salmon with trout sperm, Japan has crossed the line that shall not be crossed once more and produced a hybrid between jean pants and g-strings. The sexy and the horror astounds.

Do your jeans hang low?





I want a giant robot that can fly… with a sword!

14 11 2008

Bats with bombs. Remote controlled insects. Synthetic telepthy. The U.S. Department of Defense has something of a reputation for flushing funds into some crazy-shit ideas that seem inspired by Saturday Morning cartoons. The blur between fiction and reality with DARPA possibly comes from them treating Starship Troopers as a guidebook.

But if there is anyone who can give the US military a run for their crazy monopoly money on mega projects. Or should we say mecha-projects. Japan has just announced they are going to create Gundams. For Real. That’s right half-robot half-fighter jet and all-awesome.

With Japan not having any officially sanctioned military forces (just a self-defense force), I am curious as to what non-weaponized applications a giant man-shaped pilotable vehicle that also wields a giant-ass sword and/or gun actually might have. Children’s parties? Oh, hell yes!

And has anyone thought of the carbon footprint left by what is essentially an un-aerodynamic fighter jet?





Baby Japanese Jesus watches you pee

14 11 2008

[aside: Japanese Jesus’ Mom is a fox NSFW]

Morality questions abound today.

Is exploiting superstition for the environment acceptable?

In Japan torii gates are put up around the countryside to discourage people from littering and urinating outdoors. Traditional Japanese are little hung up on sacred concepts, the idea of littering or otherwise descrating something that even resembles a sacred site would be unthinkable. If movies have taught us anything it’s that Japanese ghosts do not have a habit of being friendly (The Ring, The Grudge, One Missed Call …)

I too had thought that roadside torii marked nearby shrines. Maybe in some places they do. I’m also aware that illegal dumping is a serious issue in Japan. Waste management is often costly and overly-beaurocratic, so often on wilderness and roadside mountain hikes we would find dumped televisions, broken stereo equipment, and one occassion a box of very old and disturbing porno magazines.

Would Jesus statues and/or crosses work similarly in the West?





Sorry Japan, McDonald’s just does not like you

8 11 2008

It’s the only explanation I can see for them trying to afflict epidemic diabetes and cholestrol filled arteries upon you.

A Quarter Pounder meal with fried potato and coke is about the unhealthiest thing you can get from a fast food outlet. The drink is loaded with refined sugars, and the burger and fries filled with fat. Creating a store without any healthy options at all (salad, soup, yoghurt etc.) is just oh so socially irresponsible.

One thing I liked about overseas fast food places was the greater degree of options available. In some American fast food places I was given the option of about five different sides (fries, salad, baked beans, nuggets, a different salad) and several drinks (juice, soda, milk, water). In Australia while the healthy options are made available, Value Meals still seem to be stuck with fries and soda only options.

In Japan variety wasn’t too great, but I was normally able to trade my soda in for some Corn Soup. (Yes creamy corn soup – Japan was cold!)

Neil Duckett has more photos and story on the “Quarter Pounder” store. It doesn’t appear to be drawing in the kiddies as much as Krispy Creme donuts phenomenom does – so maybe it will quickly disappear.