17 Of The Weirdest, Inexplicable Toys Ever Sold In Japan

It’s no secret that there are some very strange and creepy toys out there.

But while some look like innocent mistakes that companies may have overlooked during production, others are just plain bizarre and simply cannot be explained.

The following Japanese toys are perfect examples of this, because whoever created them has a seriously weird sense of what fun really is.

1. I’d really rather not, thanks.

2. What’s more fun than a roadkill cat?

3. This is supposedly a piggy bank, but that mouth sure is creepy.

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4. This figurine was found in a Japanese toy store.

Read More: These 23 Ridiculous Toys Are Ruining Children Today. How Was #1 Ever A Good Idea?!

5. This robotic cockroach is the perfect way to freak out everyone you know.

6. Nothing says having a good time like playing Russian roulette with the kids.

7. This strange toy allows you to poke inside a box to play with digital characters.

YouTube / twrarmitage

8. Who doesn’t love playing with a barfing cat?

9. The H-bouya toy is designed to plug into your USB port, and its eyes turn red and blink every time the “h” button is pressed on your keyboard. The disturbing part about this is that the “h” in the name may also mean “erotic” in Japanese.

10. The Sega robot cat responds to touch and engages in real-life cat behavior. Some of them even talk, like the creepy feline below.

11. Yes, Japan has turned Obama into an action figure.

12. This God Jesus robot acts as a Magic 8-Ball and answers all your questions while holding a cross.

13. Why eat edamame beans when you can play with them on a key chain?

Read More: These 20 Toys Were Made For Children, But They Completely Missed The Mark

14. This is an inflatable swan that you apparently wear on your crotch. Oh, and it honks when squeezed.

15. We’ve clearly been potty-training our little ones all wrong in the U.S.

16. When you hurl the Lokuloku pig toy at a hard surface, it turns into a puddle of goo and then amazingly bounces back to its original shape.

YouTube / gwblackwell

17. This would be really adorable, if not for the super-unsettling tag attached.

(via Oddee)

Well, that was definitely interesting, to say the least. Would you buy any of these odd toys?

Read more: http://www.viralnova.com/bizarre-japanese-toys/

12 Everyday Items That Were Strangely Invented During Wartime

It’s undeniable that war is terrible.

Moving political agendas forward by using war (even to protect the citizens of a country) always results in tragic deaths. On the flip side, though, it can also create economic growth and some surprising inventions.

Necessity is the mother of all inventions, and that is doubly true during wartime. These items (some of which you use daily) were created during times of war. Did you have any idea?

1. Tabasco hot sauce

In the 1850s, a soldier gave his banker friend in New Orleans named Edmund Mcilhenny some delicious Capsicum hot peppers from Mexico. He was serving in the United States-Mexican war when he found them. The man loved the peppers so much, he planted them on his wife’s family’s plantation on Avery Island, just off the Louisiana Gulf Coast. Eventually, the Mcilhenny family used the peppers to create Tabasco Sauce. The sauce was eventually so popular, it was included in C-Rations for soldiers fighting overseas during World War I.

2. Individual tea bags

For soldiers on the front, it can be difficult to gain access to common food staples. Supposedly, in 1908, a U.S. tea importer named Thomas Sullivan accidentally invented the modern teabag by sending samples of his loose leaf to customers in small silk pouches. For the troops in World War I, this was a happy discovery, as they could then brew individual cups of tea.

3. Sanitary napkins

Kotex sanitary napkins were created as a result of the invention of cellucotton, which is a pulp by-product of processed sugar cane. The absorbent, but disposable, substance was used to dress soldiers’ wounds during World War I. Then, nurses used it for sanitary pads while stationed overseas. As a result, Kimberly-Clark began marketing Kotex disposable sanitary pads in 1920.

4. Hostess Twinkies

Originally, in the 1930s, Twinkies were made with a banana filling. During World War II, however, there was a sudden banana shortage and Hostess had to pivot. Instead, they created Twinkies with vanilla cream filling…which were a hit and led to the modern Twinkie.

5. Canned goods

The Emperor Napoleon and a chef named Nicolas Appert created a modern household staple: canned goods. In 1795, Napoleon was worried about getting food to troops that were off fighting his war. So, he offered a prize of 12,000 francs to any man who could find a way to safely preserve food. After 15 years of attempts, Nicolas Appert perfected the canning process.

6. Wrist watch

Although wrist watches were created before World War I, their regular use by soldiers made them extremely popular. Watches allowed officers to efficiently time their actions with others (without using visual cues and giving themselves away). Soon after the war, everyone in London was wearing a wrist watch.

7. Portable x-ray machine

At the beginning of World War I, the portable x-ray machine was invented and perfected by scientists. In particular, the famed scientist Marie Curie worked with countless teams to outfit Red Cross trucks with mobile field units. This technology eliminated many hours of travel time for patients with severe injuries, potentially saving their lives.

8. Blood banks

Before World War I, if a dying patient desperately needed a blood transfusion, doctors would need to find a willing and healthy patient to donate the blood. Thankfully, physicians soon discovered that, by adding sodium citrate to the blood, donated blood could last outside of a patient’s body without coagulating. Dr. Oswald Hope Robertson then created the first blood bank on the battlefield of France in 1917.

9. Duct tape

A woman named Vesta Stoudt was working at a plant during World War II when she noticed something alarming. The packaging of the cartridges she was inspecting was faulty. The paper tape sealing off the ammunition was hard to remove because it would rip, making it difficult for soldiers to quickly access the package’s contents in the field. As a result, she invented duct tape. Not only would it seal the boxes, but it could be removed without tearing.

10. Embalming

Although even early Egyptians were embalming their dead, it wasn’t until the Civil War that U.S. surgeons discovered how to preserve a body so that it could be sent home for a proper burial. It’s believe that a Dr. Thomas Holmes perfected the process and embalmed over 4,000 bodies of deceased Union soldiers.

11. Antibiotics (such a penicillin)

Penicillin’s creation may be one of the most important discoveries of all time. It was originally discovered in 1928 by Scottish scientist Sir Alexander Fleming, but it was in 1941 that doctors realized that Penicillin could be used to treat wounds for soldiers. After that, the limits and benefits of the drug were explored and it’s still used all over the world.

12. Instant coffee

The “essence of coffee” was created for Civil War soldiers in the 1860s. Small instant coffee cakes were given to Union troops as part of their rations. After that, the popularity of instant coffee exploded.

(via All Day)

The inventions that were a result of war don’t justify the violence, but it is fascinating what positive things can coalesce as a result.

Read more: http://www.viralnova.com/products-created-during-wartime/

Your Side Salad Could Be Making You Gain Weight, And Here’s Why

Have you ever eaten at a restaurant and decided to forgo fries in favor of a side salad? People do that all the time, because substituting fries for a salad seems like a simple way to cut back on fat and calories. In fact, that train of thought is so common that it’s actually been labeled by psychologists as the “licensing effect.” You probably have these thoughts every single day without even realizing it.

While it might seem like you’re doing your body a favor by compromising for a side salad, you may ultimately end up consuming more calories in the end. Here’s why.

When you see that there’s an option to sub out greasy fries for some leafy greens, you’re more likely to choose the most unhealthy burger.

You know…the one that’s slathered with mayo and piled high with bacon.

You probably feel like you have a good handle on your self-control when you make decisions like this.

But those who feel that they have the most self-control probably buy into this thought process pretty often.

This idea holds true when grocery shopping, too. If you start off with some nutrition-filled greens in your cart…

…you’re much more likely to toss some ice cream sandwiches in there, too.

Researchers at Yale and Carnegie Mellon were some of the first to describe this phenomenon back in 2006. The interesting part was that they weren’t researching the human psyche. They were actually studying marketing and management techniques.

That’s right. Your favorite restaurants are using this tactic to get you to buy their most calorie-loaded dishes.

Just offering salad on the menu triggers the licensing effect.

Still don’t believe me? One study showed that health-conscious people guessed that burgers contained about 735 calories when pictured next to a plate of fries.

But when they put the same burger next to a side salad, the estimate for the burger alone dropped to an average of 619 calories.

This doesn’t just apply to food.

Smokers who were told that they were given a vitamin C pill as opposed to a placebo smoked much more than the control group. Here’s why. They thought that by adding a healthy ritual to their daily routine, it gave them a bit more wiggle room, allowing them to smoke an extra cigarette or two.

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So, how do you keep the licensing effect from killing your diet?

Think of each food choice you make as being an isolated circumstance. Don’t weigh a greasy burger against a side salad. Weigh a greasy burger against a healthier veggie burger. If you’re going to indulge, don’t kid yourself and say that you’ll make up for it later.

The salad you ate for lunch isn’t going to balance out the 15 jalapeno poppers you eat later tonight.

(source The New York Times)

Trade-offs in your diet are never a sure thing. Yes, opting for steamed veggies over onion rings will certainly make you feel better, but that doesn’t give you an excuse to have a big old piece of German chocolate cake once you get home.

It’s great to choose the healthier option, but you have to be conscious that each and every decision you make stands alone, and will have its own effect on your body and your health. I am by no means saying that you shouldn’t eat cake. Just know that the oatmeal you eat the next morning isn’t going to let your body forget that cake definitely happened.

Read more: http://www.viralnova.com/side-salad-science/

These 12 Products Prove That Looks Can Be Awesomely Deceiving

Ah, packaging. It’s the necessary evil that stands between us and the products we can’t wait to get our hands on…and it’s usually really, really annoying. With all of those nasty adhesives and seemingly impenetrable plastics, it’s like packaging designers want to drive us insane.

But some companies enlist the help of designers who actually want to sell us a packaging experience instead of a scissor-ruining nightmare. Businesspeople everywhere should take a page or two (or twelve) out of this clever design book.

1. Pencil shavings don’t usually belong in salad…

…unless they’re made out of cheese.

2. You stuck the label on upside down. How edgy.

Wait a minute…

3. I feel like they’re trying to tell us something…

Yeah, subtlety isn’t really their thing.

4. Enjoy a little light reading.

Or don’t.

5. Give your wine-snob friends two choices.

Hint: “Something oaky” is not one of them.

6. The early bird gets the worm…

…and the cute little pair of kids’ shoes inside.

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7. Convince skeptical coworkers that you absolutely did not buy cupcakes for this year’s company cookout.

See? Straight out of the oven.

8. Veggies are good for you.

Aaaaand so are condoms.

9. Housework is a bore.

Drinking isn’t.

10. If you think your favorite chocolate is the best…

…you haven’t seen this yet.

11. If you have enough time on your hands to be bored with your dish towels, don’t worry.

These exist.

12. Hanging clothes is the best way to avoid wrinkles.

So keep your teas in the closet. (Or, you know, in a mug.)

(via BuzzFeed / Creative Guerilla Marketing / Behance)

I’d rather not deal with shrink wrap and cellophane if at all possible, so coming across products like these in stores would be a nice change of pace. I guess packaging designers aren’t all bad…at least twelve of them aren’t, anyway.

Read more: http://www.viralnova.com/epic-packaging/