Video: Grandpa singing folk song using LaDiDa iPhone app

Check out this adorable video of an 88-year old Japanese man testing out the LaDiDa iphone app. LaDiDa is a machine learning app that reads your voice and then sets background music to whatever tune you’re belching out. I love how excited he gets when the music comes on, and his repetition of “dokkoisho” is hilarious. (It’s a word typically used by old people when they have to get up from a chair or pick up something heavy, signaling added physical effort.) I don’t know why he’s holding a boat.

I know this App has been out and popular for awhile, but I’m just downloading it now and am gonna try it out. I’ll let you know how that goes.

You can download LaDiDa here.

Apple-peeling gadget de-skins fruit so you don’t have to

片手で林檎を支えながら、もう一方の手で突き出しロッドを押す

Check out this new gadget just for peeling fruit. You stick the core of the fruit into the metal tongs at center, and then by pushing and rotating the red plastic button and crank, you move the surface of the fruit along the adjustable blade. Useless or awesome? I’m gonna vote for useless — I actually enjoy peeling fruit with a knife, and besides, there really is on reason why you ever have to peel an apple. The skin is good for you!

Link (Japanese, via Impress Watch)

Pliers specifically for peeling chestnuts

諏訪田製作所「栗くり坊主II」

Roasted chestnuts are notoriously hard to peel. They’re so yummy and small you really don’t want to be spending a ton of time peeling them, but the ready-peeled packaged ones taste like bad candy. A new gadget provides a solution to this: a pair of pliers catered specifically towards peeling chestnuts.

via Impress Watch (Japanese)

Cell phone site for women tells you about menstruation, contraceptives

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A new cell phone web site called Luna Luna is a huge hit among women. It’s marketed as a specialty web site where women can ask questions about contraceptives, menstruation, and diet without embarrassment. Asiajin.com estimates that the creators make about $400,000 a month from selling access to this site to 1.8 million users at 180 yen a month. Wow!

Product page

iPhone app lets you scrub off Shibuya gals’ makeup

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I think this might be my favorite just-for-fun iPhone app right now: it’s called Suppin and it lets you “scrub” the crazy makeup off of Shibuya gals’ faces to see what they look like without makeup (makeup-less face = suppin). I met the woman who made the app last week in Tokyo; she found several girls who ordinarily look like gals, and then convinced them to let her photograph them in the exact same position before and after they got decked out. It’s really amazing to watch the transformation right under your fingers.

Get it here

Dramatic Softbank ad for Twitter phone features dog as political candidate

Finally, Japanese politics has gone so whack that it’s not all too unrealistic to imagine a dog running for office. Japan’s most famous dog, Jiro Shirato, stars in this mini documentary created to parody election time. It’s a Softbank commercial for a Twitter-friendly cell phone, and is chock full of drama, jokes (“manifesto” becomes “Everesto”) and hope for a brighter future. Plus it kinda explains Japanese politics in a nutshell. Amazing.

(Thanks, Kazu Y!)

Hilarious video on how to use the smash guitar toy

The smash guitar is a playable toy guitar that is actually designed for optimum smashing on stage. Watch this incredibly funny instructional video on how it’s designed, how to use it on stage (don’t forget gloves and goggles for safety!) and how to recycle its part for future manufacture of more smash guitars.

Link (Thanks, Kazu Y!)