Home > News > Special Features
Posted on Feb 08, 09:48AM | IANS
By Nury Vittachi : Do you have dark secrets? Ever worry about dropping dead and having this grim, final thought: "Oh no! I haven't cancelled my secret subscription to Totally Justin magazine, or hidden those fantasies I wrote about me and Judi Dench in the vegetable pantry. My memory will be tarnished forever!"
Yes, it's an awful way to spend your precious final moments.
To the rescue comes Keepers, a firm in Japan. You instruct your family to immediately notify Keepers upon your death. A team will shoot round and tidy everything up, discreetly disposing of anything unsavory.
Keepers' boss Taichi Yoshida told News Post Seven that he frequently finds women's clothing in men's apartments, and once found 1,000 indecent videos in the apartment of a demure kindergarten teacher.
Other than my most religious friends, who tend to make "treat every day as if it may be your last" a sort of guiding life principle, I suspect pretty much everyone has secrets and could make use of this service.
(Memo to Taishi Yoshida of Keepers: I have two Nik Kershaw albums on a bookshelf in my bedroom.)
In the past two weeks, there have been at least six cases of members of the US pro-gun lobby accidentally shooting themselves. So, this is turning into one of those problems that eventually solve themselves.
A detective specialising in uncovering secret love affairs secretly married a second woman. He was promptly caught by his wife, also a detective. Jemima Priyadarshini of Chennai used her work skills to track her husband David to the home of the Other Woman, the UK Daily Telegraph reported. This sounds like a really bad Asian romantic comedy, right? Sorry, I just realized the terms "really bad" and "Asian romantic comedy" are probably tautologous.
In a bid to cash in on the weasel poop coffee boom, a firm in Thailand has launched elephant poop coffee, AP reported last week. This follows the launch of panda poop tea by a firm in China last year. Add the word "poop" to consumable items and Earthlings pay more. I REALLY need to get back to my home planet. You can see what's going to happen. All regular coffee drinks will eventually vanish and the only choice left will be "crappuccino".
I was shocked when Zimbabwe's finance minister revealed to the media last week that his country at that moment had a total of USUSD 217 in the bank. Could it really be so much?
Communism is great. Oh yeah. The Chinese government has ordered digital entertainment firms to make pro-party computer games to attract the young generation. A huge developer firm named Shanda has agreed to create "red games", and smaller firms are doing the same. Here are five ideas:
1) Space Invaders: You rule a country and have to expand your space to include neighbours such as Tibet, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Europe, Vancouver, Gerard Street, etc.
2) Angry Birds: You fire furious wives and mistresses from a sling and they land on offices where philandering officials are hiding.
3) Resident Evil: You are a developer who has to pay bribes to village headmen in a race to tear down nail houses and build shopping malls.
4) The Elder Scrolls: You are an old man in the politburo trying to write newspaper editorials about how communism is the best economic system when you know it's rubbish.
5) Fruit Ninja: You have to take a speedboat towards disputed islets and throw rotten fruit at Japanese warships.
People in Taiwan are outraged after it was revealed that local financial firms are taking bets with families on the dates elderly relatives will die. Hang on. Isn't that what we call Life Insurance?
Did you read about the massive cheese fire that closed down a road tunnel in Norway for six days? Who knew cheese was flammable? Is it a potential weapon? "Stick your hands up or I will light this Kraft Processed Single."
Boffins have finally created a way to make men do the housework and like it: mops and trash cans guided by handheld game controllers.
Guys can sit on the sofa and use buttons and joysticks to make the Sugoi ("incredible") Mop zoom around the floor, brilliantly moving dust particles from their original locations to new, exciting locations a few centimetres away.
And if the guy's sofa itself gets filled with snack detritus and beer cans, they use a different remote control to summon the GomibaGo ("trashcan-go"), a bin on wheels. Men can thus clear the sofa without vacating it.
Both of these are already available in Japan, I heard from a reader named Hiroto, who sent links to the products featured on Japan's Rocketnews24 website. But he is waiting for an even cooler device, successfully prototyped by an inventor called FRP. You toss garbage in the general direction of the Intelligent Trashcan, and it scoots at high speed to the exact right spot to catch it. I MUST have this product, which would make my ultimate ambition come true: to live in a world that feels like a cartoon.
How well do these devices work? Hiroto said: "They clean superficially and not very well - in other words, they clean the house just like men."
A CD of silence has sold out. The high quality 30-minute recording of nothing happening at a church in the UK attracted orders from around the world. A friend of mine, who has four children and four pets, asked me: "Could you find out if the bit-torrent folks have pirated this?" I told him it wasn't the sort of thing they normally stole, but suggested he go to a church during off-peak hours to record the silence. "Then you can sell your own version." Thought for the day: The first step towards making money is realising just how stupid consumers are.
If technology could talk, this is what it would say, according to a reader. Google: "I know everything." Facebook: "I know everyone." Internet: "Without me, you're nothing." Electricity: "Keep talking, fools."
(08-02-2013-Nury Vittachi is an Asia-based frequent traveler. Send him ideas and comments via www.mrjam.org)