Staff at a ramen shop in Osaka were stunned when a customer paid his bill and then handed over an extra ¥1 million, “saying he wanted the restaurant to offer children free meals.”
Cops in Gunma were stymied by the mysterious explosion of a tractor trailer truck that was carrying construction machinery from Maebashi to Yokohama Port. The blast destroyed a nearby shop and injured a local resident.
A nearly complete skeleton of a 110-million-year-old frog was discovered in Hyogo. Scientists say this is “a very important find for researching the evolutionary history of frogs.”
Researchers from a trio of Japanese universities claim to have found a protein in the brain that limits depression. They made their discovery by inducing stress in mice by forcing them to swim.
A 54-year-old Nagano salaryman who spent over ¥1 million beefing up his PC claims to have calculated pi to 5 trillion decimal places, which would be a world record.
Headline of the Week: Hacker Arrested for Octopus Virus (via The Asahi Shimbun)
43 years, five months, 12 days
Age of Yokohama FC striker Kazuyoshi Miura, who earlier this month became the oldest player to score a goal in the J-League
Heatstroke victims taken to hospitals in July, a record for the month
Percent of Japanese who want to be buried with their spouses when they die, according to a Yomiuri Shimbun poll
Percent who want to be buried with their ancestors
BY THE NUMBERS
It was reported that sales of three-seat bicycles, which are marketed at families with two children, are soaring. The new-style mamachari cost anywhere from ¥40,000 to over ¥100,000.
The National Police Agency said that there were 181 cases of child abuse nationwide in the first half of 2010, resulting in 199 arrests. That’s a 15 percent increase from last year.
The agriculture ministry said that Japan’s food self-sufficiency rate dropped for the first time in three years and is now 40 percent.
Meanwhile, McDonald’s restaurants in Japan enjoyed their highest ever sales in the first half of the year, raking in some ¥268.30 billion.
Lovers of sanma can expect to pay dearly for their seafood this fall, as catches off the eastern coast of Japan totaled just 421 tons in June-July, down from 1,726 tons last year.
It was reported that, for the first time in 25 years, Sapporo had a “tropical night,” which occurs when the temperature remains above 25C until daybreak.
Taking The 5 Finger Discount
I’ll Burn Down The House
Execution chamber opened to reporters
Chiba hopes gallows glimpse spurs debate
By MINORU MATSUTANI
The Tokyo Detention House opened its execution chamber to the media Friday, giving the public its first peek at the place where death-row inmates are hanged.
The Justice Ministry organized the tour at the instructions of Justice Minister Keiko Chiba, who is trying to generate public debate on the death penalty. Despite being a longtime opponent of capital punishment, Chiba authorized the executions of two inmates in July and witnessed them in person.
E-reading: Revolution in the making or fading fad?
The marriage of an American technology firm and a Taiwanese display panel manufacturer has helped make digital reading a prospective challenger to paper as the main medium for transmitting printed information.
Four years ago Cambridge, Mass-based E Ink Corporation and Taiwan’s Prime View International Co hooked up to create an e-paper display that now supplies 90% of the fast growing e-reader market.
The Taiwanese involvement has led some observers to compare e-reading to the Chinese technological revolution 2,000 years ago in which newly invented paper replaced the bulky wooden blocks and bamboo slats on which Chinese characters were written.