New app to get you out of the house in pajamas
Can't wake up? Me neither. Luckily, Takuya Sato is working to solve our problems. The inventor first came to my attention with a brilliant Japanese app called MorningBomb. You download it to your phone, set the time that you want to be out of the house, and then go to sleep.
The "bomb" (a loud noise) will go off if you are not up and out of your home by that time.
There are the two genius things about this app:
1.) The bomb cannot be turned off so you can't cheat.
2.) It detects where you are so you can't lie to it.
(ME: "I'm up! I'm up!" APP: "No, you're not, you @#USD pc liar.")
The ONLY way to shut it down is to get up, get dressed, and travel a set distance away from your house. The app is a bit like an Automated Mom, forcing us sleep-junkies on to the street, SOMETIMES IN PAJAMAS.
But then it ran into trouble. Moms can't be uninstalled, but apps can, mua ha ha ha! Many users started deleting it.
So Takuya crafted a gentler version for the wimps among us. The new one, called Morning+ (Morning Plus), detects whether you leave your home on time and, if you do, a sponsor gives you a metaphorical pat on the head by donating one US cent to a charity.
The last I heard, from a report on Japanese website erocketnews24, he hadn't found a sponsor yet, so was using his own personal savings, and had donated 320 yen, the equivalent of USUSD 4, to charity.
Joke: How do you wake up Lady Gaga?
Answer: Po po po poke her face.
A shopping mall in China has built a non-moving escalator. It has glass sides and a black rubber rail but doesn't do anything. People get on the bottom step and just stand there, waiting for the machinery to clank into action. Even more weird is the fact that it doesn't move makes people feel dizzy and unstable, as if they are about to fall off.
I once lived in an ancient apartment block at which you had to pull open the elevator door by yourself. We used to time our friends to see how stupid they were. The record was set by a stockbroker who stood there for three minutes before realising he had to open the door.
One evening recently, a snake bit a farmer in a paddy field in Nepal. Mohammed Salmodin went home, got a torch, found the snake and bit it. The snake died, the BBC reported. Of the bite? Or of humiliation?
Look! An evil male attacking a poor defenseless woman! A pair of have-a-go heroes stopped their car and leapt out on to the verge. They grabbed the guy to let the woman escape.
Which is when they started listening to what he was saying and realized that HE was the innocent victim and SHE was the mugger who had robbed him.
This story, which took place in the US state of New Jersey recently, was sent in by a reader to make his point that being male was worse than being female these days.
And it arrived as part of a flurry of missives triggered by an earlier assertion by this columnist that being a modern guy sucked.
Reader Otis Schindler said men were told to "take it like a man" if they got weepy at women's movies, but he had never heard a women being told to "take it like a woman" at a man's movie. Good point. Christian Fardel said teenage girls were often adorable, but you rarely hear that said about teenage boys.
Yet as emails and comments poured in, the balance soon swung the other way. A female reader named Onita asked: "Can you men push something the size of a watermelon out of a space in your body meant for a grape?" She may have been talking about having babies, or it may be a reference to some sort of fruit therapy. What goes on inside women's spas remain a total mystery to me.
A reader named Connie wrote: "Not only can men write their names in the snow, but their personalities are so simple that doing such things gives them enormous pleasure."
I eventually compiled the notes into a list of:
Ten Clear Advantages Of Being Male
10) Two pairs of cheap ugly shoes are all you need your whole life.
9) Need to pee? You can unzip whenever you feel like because the whole world is your toilet.
8) You can say stupid unfeeling things because "he's a guy, what do you expect?"
7) Evil food companies, all run by men, put everything in jars that only males can open.
6) A barber costs a tenth of the price of a hairdresser and does his job in eight minutes.
5) If you get to the age of 30 without being married, no one commiserates.
4) Your name stays the same, however many people you marry.
3) You can buy enough underwear for two years in two minutes from one stall for small change.
2) If your suitcase gets lost, it doesn't matter because you wear the same thing every day anyway.
1) Your entire morning routine takes two minutes, or three if you include a shower.
THIS WAS A PRETTY powerful list, so I hoped the guys would have something to match.
But scanning all the comments and emails, I found ONLY FIVE items for a list of:
Five Clear Advantages Of Being Female
5) You can win a job interview using only your cleavage.
4) You can make infants stop crying by magic.
3) You can change how you look every day.
2) You have a lie detector built into your inner ear.
1) You can get 1,000 hits on YouTube by eating a popsicle.
Not bad, guys, but let's face it - the women win this argument, by dint of the simple fact that 6.) Women ultimately win all arguments.
(Nury Vittachi is an Asia-based frequent traveller. Send ideas and comments via www.mrjam.org)