Video from the Sushi's Perspective

I'm a big fan of kaiten-zushi, a form of sushi restaurant in which patrons sit at a bar around a conveyer belt. On the conveyer belt, endless small plates of sushi proceed past the diners -- which tends to put the diners in a sort of zoned-out mode, just staring as infinite food arrives. When a diner sees something he likes, he grabs the plate. At the end of the meal, his plates are counted and a total cost tabulated (plates are typically color-coded by price, ranging from $1 - $3 or more). My local kaiten-zushi place also has a competitive eating competition called "Plate Champion," in which diners win prizes for consuming huge quantities of sushi, and stacking up the plates. Proud photos of guys with their plate-stacks adorn the walls. (I, sadly, am not a Plate Champion.)

Several videos on YouTube show the keiten-zushi process from the sushi's perspective. It's a simple idea -- just put your camera on a plate, put it back on the conveyer belt, and watch as it takes its trip around the belt, through the kitchen, and back to you. Here's one such video making the rounds (from Tomakomai, Hokkaido, Japan):

Watch as people stare at the camera, make the Peace sign, smile or frown at it, ignore it, and so on. My favorite part is when the camera enters the kitchen and is temporarily removed from the conveyer belt as kitchen staff discuss what to do with it. One commenter on Boing Boing translated the kitchen portion of the video. Check out the link for the full translation; here are my favorite bits:

Kitchen staffer #1(glasses)- "Huh? What's this? There's a camera going round." Other lady off camera- "what's wrong?" 3rd lady, laughing- "hey- it's ok on a blue plate! (as if she's saying cameras are a blue plate special item, lol)"

Walking with plate- "Coffee jelly for #30!" RINGS BELL: "We're in trouble." Sushi chefs come. Lady: "This was going around and taking video..." Sushi chef- "Ah, this, it's probably a customer's. Umm, it's a foreigner." Lady- "they put it out (on here)?" Chef- "Yeah, they tried putting it out, to take (a video). Of the, er, of the scenery."

More keiten-zushi videos are on YouTube.

(Via, via Boing Boing.)

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25 Benefits of Adopting a Rescue Dog
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According to the ASPCA, 3.3 million dogs enter shelters each year in the United States. Although that number has gone down since 2011 (from 3.9 million) there are still millions of dogs waiting in shelters for a forever home. October is Adopt a Shelter Dog Month; here are 25 benefits of adopting a shelter dog.

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How Urban Legends Like 'The Licked Hand' Are Born
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If you compare the scary stories you heard as a kid with those of your friends—even those who grew up across the country from you—you’ll probably hear some familiar tales. Maybe you tried to summon Bloody Mary by chanting her name in front of the mirror three times in a dark bathroom. Maybe you learned never to wonder what’s under a woman’s neck ribbon. Maybe you heard the one about the girl who feels her dog lick her hand in the middle of the night, only to wake up to find him hanging dead from the shower nozzle, the words “humans can lick too” written on the wall in the dog’s blood.

These ubiquitous, spooky folk tales exist everywhere, and a lot of them take surprisingly similar forms. How does a single story like the one often called “Humans Can Lick Too” or "The Licked Hand" make its way into every slumber party in America? Thrillist recently investigated the question with a few experts, finding that most of these stories have very deep roots.

In the case of The Licked Hand, its origins go back more than a century. In the 1990s, Snopes found that a similar motif dates back to an Englishman’s diary entry from 1871. In it, the diary keeper, Dearman Birchall, retold a story he heard at a party of a man whose wife woke him up in the middle of the night, urging him to go investigate what sounded like burglars in their home. He told his wife that it was only the dog, reaching out his hand. He felt the dog lick his hand … but in the morning, all his valuables were gone: He had clearly been robbed.

A similar theme shows up in the short story “The Diary of Mr. Poynter,” published in 1919 by M.R. James. In it, a character dozes off in an armchair, and thinks that he is petting his dog. It turns out, it’s some kind of hairy human figure that he flees from. The story seems to have evolved from there into its presently popular form, picking up steam in the 1960s. As with any folk tale, its exact form changes depending on the teller: sometimes the main character is an old lady, other times it’s a young girl.

You’ll probably hear these stories in the context of happening to a “friend of a friend,” making you more likely to believe the tale. It practically happened to someone you know! Kind of! The setting, too, is probably somewhere nearby. It might be in your neighborhood, or down by the local railroad tracks.

Thrillist spoke to Dr. Joseph Stubbersfield, a researcher in the UK who studies urban legends, who says the kind of stories that spread widely contain both social information and emotional resonance. Meaning they contain a message—you never know who’s lurking in your house—and are evocative.

If something is super scary or gross, you want to share it. Stories tend to warn against something: A study of English-language urban legends circulating online found that most warned listeners about the hazards of life (poisonous plants, dangerous animals, dangerous humans) rather than any kind of opportunities. We like to warn each other of the dangers that could be lurking around every corner, which makes sense considering our proven propensity to focus on and learn from negative information. And yes, that means telling each other to watch out for who’s licking our hands in the middle of the night.

Just something to keep in mind as you eagerly await Jezebel’s annual scary story contest.

[h/t Thrillist]


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