Category Archives: Science and Technology

Singaporean cabbie with a Stanford PhD

You can find still find yourself behind the driving wheel of a cab even after forking out loads of cash, and devoting a backbreaking amount of effort and time to obtain a PhD from Stanford. This happened to 57-year-old China-born Dr. Cai Mingjie, who resorted to driving cabs as a way to make ends meet after he was retrenched from his job researching cell genetics at a research institute in Singapore. After facing multiple rejections, he saw the taxi industry filled with job vacancies.

He also started blogging about his experiences. His latest post talks about getting an “indecent proposal” from a bar girl.

Fobber Amy and I are chasing our graduate degrees right now, so here’s to hoping that years from now, we’ll be on the career paths we wish to be on. If we ever do find ourselves in dire straits, the lesson to learn from Cai is to suck up your pride, and take on whatever job you can find.

Emily

Link

iPhone app for perverts who like to look up women’s skirts

If you’re feeling the itch to sneak a peek at a cute Japanese lady’s panties, BottleCube’s iPhone app Puff! is the legal way to do it. The harder you rub your screen and blow on the mic, the higher her skirt will fly. The more her skirt is raised, the louder her squeal. There are different scenarios in case you want to change things up a little–a park, the office and a bar. Save yourself a sexual harassment suit, and get yours at the iTunes store today!

Emily

Disgrasian via Huffington Post

Fob researchers put panda poop to good use

Kudos to three fobby scientists from Kitasato University for discovering that giant panda poop bacteria can reduce more than 90 percent of kitchen waste. The bacteria extract converts the refuse into water and carbon dioxide. Fumiaki Taguchi, Song Guofu, and Zhang Guanglei were presented with an Ig Nobel prize (parody of the Nobel prize) this year for their efforts.

At the Ig Nobel ceremony, which was held in Harvard, 72-year-old Taguchi said he initially guessed that panda poop might have a special kind of bacteria due to the mammals’ ingestion of large volumes of bamboo. Isn’t poop great? It serves all kinds of purposes, from burgers to keeping our environment green!

Emily

Link

Samurai-inspired iPhone cases sold at $1k each

Japan’s samurai-smitten women would dig this.  Inspired by the concept of what iPhones would look like if five famous samurai warriors owned them, SoftBank has just launched these beautiful lacquered cases.  But at US$1,000 a pop, you’ve got to have the big bucks to land yourself one.  They are pretty sexy, though. . .

softall

Suzie

Link via cnet

Ooey gooey poop burger

Japan is way ahead of its peers in edible poop research. In 1993, they found a way to turn poop into meat substitute, thanks to scientist Mitsuyuki Ikeda from the Environmental Assessment Center in Okayama.

Ikeda created and named the “shit burger” which is made out of soy, protein extracted from poop, and steak sauce essence. The substitute costs 10 to 20 times than real meat because of the amount of money that went into the research.

Emily

Link

Japanese robotic bear tucks you into bed

Need help getting out of bed in the morning?  For many people, like elderly or bedridden folks, the Japanese RIBA robot is an ingenious solution.  The soft teddy bear robot, inspired by its predecessor, serves as a robotic nurse and can lift patients up to 135 lbs out of a bed or wheelchair. RIBA, which stands for “Robot for Interactive Body Assistance,” weighs a hefty 400 lbs to keep from tipping. The bot even recognizes faces and voices, and responds to verbal commands.  Pretty awesome.

Check out the cool video demonstration:

Suzie (via engadget)

P.S. Thanks Hubie for the link!

Japanese robots get no love in down economy

Even robots are losing their jobs these days.  In Japan, industrial production has slowed by 40 percent, forcing investments for robot innovation to take a backseat.  Factory robots sit idly, waiting for the next order of products.  And even though they are cool and creative, luxury robots like a $4000-robotic-feeding-arm have become an impractical luxury.

Still, what I wouldn’t give to get one of these guys to tackle the seriously overwhelming mountain of dishes in my kitchen sink:

robots8

For the full article, check out the NY Times article and slideshow.

Suzie