So maybe the guy in charge of naming was hungover from an all-night coke binge when they picked "Epsonality" but otherwise, whoever is handling Epson's web marketing is doing a real bang-up job.

While visiting my page, I took a chance on a flash advertisement for Epson telling me to enter my user name to "see [my] music taste in color." I entered Voxcandy and it came up with this surprisingly neat-o graphic:

And here's the one for the boyfriend:

It takes your top artists from the last few months and creates a visual representation of who you listened to and how often. Pretty frickin' neat, huh? I'm not sure, but I think it's an appropriation of Lee Byron's Wavegraphs or the LastGraph application Andy Godwin built off of it. To do it yourself, visit your profile and hope you get the Epson ad (not the Beck's one). You can also visit the LastGraph website, although it will only give you a .PDF or .SVGZ of the graph, and the process for generating a wavegraph poster takes much longer and is more involved than just typing your user name in the Epson advertisement. Really, it's better for you (and for if you just keep hitting refresh on your profile page until you get the Epson ad.

And if you want even more of an "Ooooooh... Neat-o" experience, visit the "Epsonality" (I cringed a little bit when I typed that) website. Jump through the hoops & move the sliders to choose a printer, then "meet your Epsonality". It's a shining example of one of the ways in which flash can and should be used to create an interactive site.

Uncle Hitler

This is also Japan:

Ahhhh... Hello Project. The illogical extension of pop idol groups and creepy hyper sexualized marketing taken to its ludicrous zenith; A 40 year old fake-tanned, spikey-haired former "it" boy's harem of cute.

If you've never seen/known/watched anything about Hello! Project and it's main TV vehicle "Hello Morning," you are really missing out on some self-indulgent dirty-little-secret embarrassing pop culture gluttony.
Seriously. It's almost as good as Lindsay Lohan's Myspace Blog.

The basic concept is that there are several different "music" groups of marginally-talented but severely cute girls who range in age from about 7 to 24 (Once you get too old you "graduate" and go on to a mostly-fictional "solo" career). The girls are placed into singing/dancing groups (which are rearranged and re-matched in constant rotation) but the real focus is on the television shows, photo books, blogging, radio shows, merchandising. and sponsorships that turn these once human beings into consumer products for the cute-obsessed Japanese masses-- primarily the cute-obsessed 30-60 year old MALE Japanese masses.

I digress. This wasn't supposed to be an article about Hello! Project. so if you want to know more about it, you can visit the Official Website or the fan site Hello!Online.

The real focus of this article is about the following segment that aired on TV Tokyo as a part of their "Yorosen" program. The program features female pop idols acting like teachers and giving lessons about history to other female pop idols. Sounds fun!!!!!1one
Although not specifically a Hello! Project vehicle, some members of the group are present in the class, and this type of classroom roleplaying (complete with real-or-feigned intense stupidity on the part of the girls) is typical of the type of segments idol TV programs usually produce.

Although I must say, the inclusion of a mass-murdering sociopath is a novel twist.

TV Tokyo later issued an apology. According to the Asahi Shibun (Newspaper):

Referring to the Nazi dictator as “Hitler ojisan” (Uncle Hitler), the woman lauded Hitler’s speeches as having a “soothing effect.”

“The program’s content was based on a mistaken interpretation of history and was inappropriate,” the broadcaster said.

via Japan Probe

Did you know that it's impossible to get a replacement cord for an electric blanket? I know this because I have recently lost the cord to an electric blanket that's been passed down through the generations-- and by that I mean that I got it from my grandmother when she had her last stroke and lost all feeling in one leg, thereby putting her in one of the categories of humans for whom it is NOT safe to use an electric blanket, so says The Electric Blanket Institute. Did you process that? The Electric Blanket INSTITUTE. Please read the following paragraph of sage advice from their website:

Just as with any electrical appliance, things do occasionally go wrong with electric blankets or electric mattress pads. For example, a control may not work properly, a blanket may become bunched up which might cause an overheated condition or a heater wire might break. Therefore it is foolish to allow infants or small children to use these products. Likewise for the same reasons, anyone who is helpless, paralyzed, insensitive to heat, or who cannot understand the control’s operation should never be allowed to use these appliances. Some elderly people with one or more of these conditions sometimes insist on having their electric blanket. Be strong and refuse them. Show “tough love” or you may regret it.

I'll just let that percolate for a little bit while you rip that Sunbeam out of granny's frost-bitten fingers and ponder the impressive wordplay of the phrase, "Likewise for the same reasons." In the meantime, I'll also I explain what the hell the fakeity fake institute of fake fake has to do with the title of this post.

While searching for "electric blanket cord" in an apparently futile endeavor to find a replacement for my heirloom, I came across the "Reviews and Buying" section of The Electric Blanket Institute's website. According to The Electric Blanket Institute (I giggle a little bit every time I capitalize that as a proper noun) each year the "well-respected Hammacher Schlemmer Institute honors one electric blanket as the best." You had no idea, I know.
If your Roomba busted a gear cleaning up all the sadness you crapped when The Sharper Image went bankrupt, you need to relax and feel the warm soothing pulsations of this motorized aquarium alarm chair talking bank massager-- Hammacher Schlemmer is here to sell you some ridiculous overpriced crap.

Here, in no particular order, 8 of the most retarded (or awesome, depending on how you look at it) pieces of entertaining trash on their website. You should know that since their slogan is "Offering the Best, the Only, and the Unexpected for 160 years," they title everything in their catalog "The_____"... which can be just plain fucking irritating after reading through 8 pages of items entitled "The Plantar Fasciitis Therapy Night Brace" and "The Women's Genuine Turkish Cotton Nightshirt."

The Authentic Boardwalk Photobooth - $11,000

Back in the good ole days of '93, being 12 meant your idea of killing boredom was shelling out $4 for some out-of-focus pics with your friends, made in the photo booth next to the Wallgreens that had that little automatic metal cattle gate at the entrance. That mall now sits empty and deserted, or has been turned into medical offices, and the world's 14 year olds are too busy popping caps in their dads and sucking dick in the middle school janitor's closet to give a crap about a photo booth.

So maybe you're looking to recreate the nostalgia of the pre-90210 era (that would be the 90209 era for those of you who're bad at math). Or maybe you're trying to attract your own personal mid-western Amelie and just can't find any photobooths in which to make headshots you can scatter Johhny Appleseed-like all around Kansas City. If so, this photobooth would look just great in your Ruckus Room.

Under the "You May Need" section, don't forget to pick up an extra roll of film. For $500. At least the shipping and handling is only two grand.

Ahhh... fuck it. I'm already tired of writing this. If you want to see more of their ridiculous crap, I suggest you troll around their site and post your findings in the comments. Or stop wasting your time looking at things you're never gonna buy and go get everyone in your family a Wall-E DVD for Christmas.

The Preds just lost and I'm cranky.

Mind Your Manners

"Just in time for the Holiday party season, Tokyo Metro unveils it's Manner Poster for December."

I think the message here is "Please don't vomit on your shirt, then crowd into the last train of the night heading back to the suburbs and piss your pants while you're standing in front of me, crotch-to-eye-level (true story)."

Washed up? Get Soaked

Washed up American celebrities seem to find a lot of solace (and boat payments) in peddling alcohol for Japanese beverage companies.

For example, apparently Paul Anka is a very dour, serious man-- until he drinks his "go juice". A little bit of Super Nikka whiskey and you've got a happy, clappy "Super sunshine" fit on your hands. The message of this add? Nikka is great, as long as you have a life-partner around to make sure you don't choke on your own tongue.

Lee Van Cleef starring in "The Ridiculous Script of Nonsense" sponsored by Suntory Whiskey-- an amber-colored bottle of hell piss that'll knock the optic nerve right out yo eye ball socket you'll vomit so hard.

Gaijin Tonic

Shouldn't it be an "About 1/10 of a Kilogramer?"

I actually ate at McDonald's fairly regularly while I lived in Japan. It wasn't just because there was one close to my dorm-- the quality of the food really was better. There were more drinks, sandwich choices like an "Ebi Fillet" (like a shrimp po-boy with Big Mac's special sauce) and this one burger that came with a fried egg on it (don't knock it till you try it). The fries were ALWAYS hot & crispy and the buns were steamed to fresh, chewy perfection. There were a few things missing from the far east version that left me choked up, not by the chunks of beef nugget in my mouth, but with homesickness-- the Quarter-Pounder with cheese being the most egregious of these omissions.

That's all changing however, although I wonder if Japanizens know it. They've launched a "Quarter Pounder Secret" campaign, opening stores that have absolutely no branding and only two choices on the menu-- Quarter-Pounder with cheese and Double Quarter-Pounder with cheese.

So far the marketing ploy seems to be working.. mostly because Japanese people are suckers for marketing ploys.


I want to eat the shit out of these. Most adorable doughnuts EVER: