Posts tagged ‘japan’

Is Japan’s Coastline Longer Than Australia’s?

By Chad Upton | Editor-in-chief

I often come across the statement that Japan’s coastline is longer than Australia’s.

Although Australia has more than 20 times more land area than Japan, Japan actually has a longer coastline according to the World Factbook. The World Factbook, published by the CIA, lists Australia’s coastline at 25,760 km (16,007 miles) and Japan’s at 29,751 km (18,486 miles).

japan_australia

As you can see in the graphic above, Japan fits comfortably inside of Australia. So, how is it possible that it has a longer coastline? (more…)

May 30, 2014 at 8:00 am 2 comments

Square Watermelons are Smarter Than Round Ones

By Chad Upton | Editor

How much is your fridge space worth?

Traditional watermelons take up a lot of space in your fridge. So, farmers in Japan came up with a way to grow square watermelons.

Square watermelons are a better use of space in your fridge and during shipping. When you pack them together there isn’t as much “empty” space in the corners. They’re also more convenient because they don’t roll over, they stand on their own.

From a practical standpoint, they’re definitely better. But, are they worth the money? In Japan, they go for the equivalent of about $82 USD. These watermelons are available in some US specialty grocery shops as well. These Panama imports are going for $75 and up.

If you want square watermelons without the obtuse price, you might consider growing your own. You can do it just like the Japanese farmers if you pickup a polycarbonate mold to grow them in. Basically, you fit the case around the watermelon as it starts growing and the watermelon grows to fill the shape of the case. The case runs for about $110 USD, but you can use it to grow many watermelons. Once you’ve grown two, you’ve more than paid for it.

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Photo: solution_63 (cc)

Sources: CNN, slashfood, snopes, square-watermelons.com

November 16, 2011 at 2:00 am 1 comment

Japan: Where the Streets Have No Names

By Chad Upton | Editor

The U2 song, “Where the Streets Have No Name” refers to the city of Belfast, Northern Ireland, where the streets actually do have names. Bono wishes they didn’t have names because they can be used to determine the class and religion of some people.

In Japan; however, a majority of the streets do not have names.

So, how do you find a location? Instead of the streets being named, the blocks between the streets are numbered.

The houses and units inside a block are also numbered. The blocks are inside a named district, the district is within a city or town. So, other than the block numbers and street names, it’s quite similar to the Western address system.

In Japan, directions to a location often include references to visual landmarks or subway stations. The block numbers could also be good for driving directions; if someone told you to turn right at the end of block 4, you’d see block 4 on a utility pole and know that the next turn is yours. In the Western system, you rarely know when your street is next, unless you’re in one of the few cities that are built on a perfect grid and have incrementally named streets.

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Sources: songfacts, goabroad.com, Wikipedia (Japanese Address System)

July 16, 2011 at 5:01 pm 6 comments


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