Remember the last time you were diving underwater and suddenly remembered an important letter that you had to post that very instant? Yup, it has happened to all of us. Fortunately, these five places has us covered.
Hideaway Island, Vanuatu
The underwater post office off the coast of Hideaway Island in the island nation of Vanuatu is one of the most famous in the world. It was established in 2003 and is located in 3 meters of water. The post office provides special waterproof postcards that tourists can drop into the submerged post box with their own hands, or ask the staff to do so.
Some of the world’s busiest train stations are located in Japan. Indeed, as per statistics that surfaced in 2013, out of the top 51 train stations in the world, all but six are located in this small but suffocatingly dense island nation. The busiest of them all —the Shinjuku Station in Tokyo— handles a staggering 3.6 million passengers every single day, or 1.3 billion riders a year. In contrast, the Shippea Hill station in Cambridgeshire, Britain, has an average of just one passenger per month making it the least-busiest train station, at least in Britain. The station is served by only one train on weekdays, which arrives from Cambridge but stops for passengers only if requested in advance. On most days there are no passengers. On … Read the rest
In the last few weeks, we have been hearing a lot about how robots have been replacing human workers across industries in developed countries. According to a recent study conducted jointly by economists from M.I.T. and Boston University, for every robot that was added to the workforce up to six workers have lost their job, and wages fell by as much as three-fourths of a percent. The study also found that up to 670,000 Americans have lost jobs to industrial robots between 1990 and 2007. Another study made an even more foreboding report —more than 10 million UK workers could be replaced by robots within the next 15 years.
While mechanization in industries is “necessary” to increase efficiency and reduce costs, robots in Japan are more … Read the rest
Turns out, chopsticks are still ripe for innovation, even after more than 6,000 continuous years of use in pretty much all of Eastern Asia.
In what will surely go down in the annals of history as an achievement as momentous as the harnessing of electricity, Japan’s Marushige Confectionery company has recently unveiled edible chopsticks that are meant to be both environmentally friendly and to preserve age-old Japanese agricultural practices.
Oh, and they also happen to taste like furniture.
Marushige’s chopsticks are made with igusa (soft rush) reeds, the material traditionally used to make tatami, the floor mats found throughout Japan. RocketNews24 reports that the Nagoya-based company is openly billing the chopsticks as being “tatami-flavored” and that they hope the creation will promote the cultural significance … Read the rest
For the epicure that has everything, there’s now a melon available in Japan that’s worth as much as a new car.
The Yubari King is a cross between two varieties of cantaloupe, and must be grown in the Yubari region in order to bear that name — just as Kobe beef, another Japanese culinary luxury, must be produced in that certain geographic region.
The Yubari King is known for it’s sweetness and, of course, its price tag, which just reached a whopping $27,000 (though that was technically for a pair). That price is only reserved for the choicest melons however, with average Yubaris typically going for $50 – $100, which is still ridiculous when you think about it—but not, like, the cost-of-my-college-loans ridiculous.
Japan‘s public broadcasting system, NKH, airs a show titled Design Ah!, a children’s education program that teaches out of the box thinking. Created in 2011, the Peabody Award-winning series broadcasts a series of whimsical and surreal clips that show lateral thinking for not just not just design but creativity in general. One of the segments on Design Ah! is It’s Different From What You Expected. Filmmaker Daihei Shibata, who worked on this segment, has recently been uploading a selection of clips from the years 2013 to 2015.
The look of It’s Different From What You Expected will be familiar to anyone who remembers PBS children’s programs, or even the BBC’s satirical Look Around You. It’s Different From What You Expected… Read the rest