2D B4 3D? That Is The Question

Shana Tova 2U from Second Life | שנה טובה מסקנ...
Image by VRider goes Web3D via Flickr

Or, to put it another way, can Second Life activities on-line be seen as a rehearsal for face-to-face relationships in the real world?

Social network Plurk has already given Second Life the status of a country,  and now commercial interests have gone a stage further by providing an interface between 3D reality and 2D fantasy.

The seaside town of  Atami in Japan is offering young men a tourism destination to frolic with their virtual girlfriends.

 The resort is based on a game called “Love Plus,” which encourages players to develop long-term relationships with virtual women . One hotel has gone as far as putting a barcode in its rooms, allowing players to see their “girlfriends” in a more private setting wearing  “summer kimonos”. Hmm.

While it’s obviously a great sexual relief to be able to practise, er,  frolicking  with the fantasy of your choice, it’s a little difficult to actually hold a hologram.

Fear not! There are further developements.

 In the underground sub-culture  known as Moe, in Japan,  men who are  obsessed with pubescent, female, Anime figures form “relationships” with body pillows covered with the girl’s image.

Sam Fox merchandise

Anyone else ever buy a Sam Fox pillow? (Too much information. Ed.)

Moving on.

Pillow girls and their 3D boyfriends

Cultural observers say the rise of 2-D love can be pinned in part on the difficulty many young Japanese of modest means have in geting to grips with modern romance.

More than a quarter of men and women between the ages of 30 and 34 are virgins; 50 percent of men and women in Japan do not have friends of the opposite sex, a government survey reports.

This phenomenon is by no means confined to the Far East.  In Germany, “Generation Porno” is said to be more chaste than debased.

Figures released recently by the German Federal Centre for Health Education (BZgA) showed that “overall German teens are less sexually active than they were in 2005”.

We will not speculate on what kind of sexual relationships these teens were having 5 years ago. Will we?

But the problem remains – how do you have  a sexual relationship without just diving in at the deep end, so to speak? And, having made a tentative commitment, what if it doesn’t live up to expectations?

Fortunately, the rubber industry has the answer. Or, at least, it did for a 50-year-old Italian man, who went to adult toy-maker, Diego Bortolin in Treviso, Italy, with his request.

He was apparently so obsessed with his girlfriend that, even after she dumped him – for reasons we can only guess at – he wanted a life-size doll made in her image.

He put together a collection of photos of his ex and commissioned Sgr. Bortolin to make a sex doll.

 “I want it just like her but with bigger boobs”, Italy’s Il Messaggero newspaper said. The cost? A mere US$18,000.

There is no truth to the rumour that he was later seen wandering around the resort in Atami taunting Japanese youths by saying ‘”Been there, Done that. Got the pillow.”

What was it people used to call practising sex on your own? Something onan inane, no doubt.

Thanks to:

 
 

Resort Attracts Men With Virtual Girlfriends : Discovery News

 http://mashable.com/2010/08/31/virtual-girlfriend-vacation/

http://www.weirdasianews.com/2009/08/30/japanese-men-give-meaning-pillow-talk/%20cyber%20affairs.

http://www.thelocal.de/society/20100902-29573.html

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/lifestyle/the-other-side/man-replaces-ex-girlfriend-with-custom-made-sex-doll/story-e6frfhk6-1225912671577

http://www.samfox.com/

Where Have All The Old Ones Gone?

“Long time passing,” you chorus.

Ah, but in the land of ancestor worship, veneration of old age has been seduced by  the dark side.

First, a little background.

Tomoji Tanabe

On 18/09/2007, Tomoji Tanabe, who became the oldest man alive when Emiliano Mercado Del Toro died aged 115, celebrated his 112th birthday.

Apparently, the bar had been set.

And so, on 22/7/2010, officials in Tokyo went to the home  of Sogen Kato, registered as being 111 years old, in order t0 help him celebrate becoming Japan’s Oldest Man.

Alas, all they found were his  mummified remains. He had actually died 30 years earlier, aged 81, and since then, his family had allegedly been trying to claim the 9.5 million yen (or 109,000 USD) widower’s pension guaranteed to him.

This has caused an outcry among the netizens. Typical of the comments is that of Wondering, Mendo, CA, who wrote;

“Wow, it takes thirty years for them to realize this man is dead and they have been claiming him as the world’s oldest! It just doesn’t seem right!”

Priorities are, of course, the thing.

Well, if the Oldest Man was a fraud, surely the Oldest Woman would uphold the honour of the ancestors?

Unfortunately, Japan’s  Oldest Woman, Fusa Furuya, aged 113, was not at home. In fact, she hadn’t been home since 1986.

Doubtless, her family had waited more than 30yrs to report her missing in case she had just popped out to buy some cigarettes and would be embarrassed by any fuss.

Pension? What pension?

This has belatedly prompted authorities to verify the existence of more than 40,ooo alleged centenarians. As German magazine Stern has put it – Thousands of “Hundred Years” has long since dead. (Google Translate likes this!)

It is now feared that  a further 281 possible centenarians are also missing, including  21 people who would  allegedly be older than the nation’s current official oldest person – that’s the chappie who died 30 yrs. ago.

Are we seeing a pattern yet?

The latest case is that of a 64-year-old man, who  told officials that his mother had died at home in Tokyo in “about June 2001”. Sankei Shimbun newspaper quoted him as saying, “I laid out her body for a while, washed it in the bath, then broke up the bones and put them into a backpack.”

Well, you would, wouldn’t you?

Of course, it is not only people who are famed for longevity in Japan.

The 130-million-year-old jaw and skull bones of a  plant-eating lizard were unearthed in the Ishikawa Prefecture of Japan. All right, technically not actually alive now, but if it hadn’t previously been reported as dead…?

Well, then, how about  the Oldest Dog?

Pusuke - Japan's oldest dog

Pu (as his friends and family know him)  is a crossbreed dog that lives with Yumiko Shinohara, a housewife from Sakura, Japan. According to the Daily Yomiuri, Pu was born in March 1985 at the home of one of Yumiko’s relatives.

This can be proved via a local pet register that scrupulously (!) tracks every local pet’s birth and death.

Pu will need to survive at least three more years, preferably not in a backpack, to beat the current champion, a 28-year-old, US-based beagle that died in 2003.

Breaking news on this story is that in Switzerland archaeological finds uncovered in 1873 in the Kesslerloch cave in northern Switzerland included the cranium of a dog dating back 30,000 years.

Officials are said to be sceptical of the veracity of the claim as there is a suggestion that the dog’s owner was Japanese.

OldChinaHand would like to thank the following sources for this article, the facts are theirs, the distortion is his:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-11039196

http://www.metro.co.uk/weird/837059-tokyos-oldest-woman-now-missing-after-oldest-man-found-dead

http://translate.google.com/translate?sl=auto&tl=en&u=http://www.stern.de/panorama/japan-tausende-hundertjaehrige-laengst-tot-1597403.html%23utm_source%3Dstandard%26utm_medium%3Drss-feed%26utm_campaign%3Dalle


http://www.weirdasianews.com/2007/09/18/worlds-oldest-man-turns-112/

http://www.weirdasianews.com/2010/06/08/japan-home-worlds-oldest-living-dog/

http://www.thelocal.de/sci-tech/20100802-28901.htm

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2008/03/080324-lizard-evolution.html