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Candy Crush restaurant doesn’t serve crushed candy

It’s always amusing to see when companies in Asia piggyback off the marketing of other brands, especially when they’re totally unrelated.  Apparently the mobile game, Candy Crush, has become pretty popular in Malaysia – so much so that this random restaurant took its name.  And no, they don’t serve crushed candy.  Their sign says their specialty is “bak kut teh,” or pork rib soup.

candy crush restaurant

(Thanks, Dunks!)

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Japan’s underground bicycle garage is awesome

Walking around San Francisco, I often see parked bicycles with their front wheels missing — the result of all too common bike thefts.  That’s why Japan’s automatic underground garages are seriously awesome.  Not only does the ingenious urban technology save a ton of ground-level space, but it also keep your two-wheelers safe from predators.  You gotta watch how it works in the video below.  I love how the system just sucks in your bicycle and takes it into what looks like a sci-fi cave!

“Gritty” TED talk explains unexpected key to success

How can you tell which students will have the highest grades?  Apparently, IQ is not the only factor.  This awesome 6-minute TED talk by Angela Lee Duckworth, a former management consultant turned middle school teacher, really struck a chord with me — she explains that the key to success isn’t raw intelligence.  Rather, she says “it was grit.”

“Grit is passion and perseverance for very long term goals. Grit is having stamina.  Grit is sticking with your future, day in day out, not just for the week, not just for the month, but for years, and working really hard to make that future a reality.”

To me, this describes the mentality many immigrant families have.  It describes why I adore people like Vinod Khosla, who preaches, “Don’t give up.”  It explains the vision that immigrant parents have when they work towards a better life for their kids.  Emily and I have had long chats about how the smartest companies are the ones who hire immigrants and foreign talent (yes, we’re biased) and Duckworth’s talk really sums up our philosophy.  When it comes to grit, immigrants often have it in spades.

Kim Jong Un gets cast in burger commercial

Screen Shot 2013-05-31 at 3.08.15 PM

Remember my cousin, the Kim Jong Un doppelgänger that we wrote about last month?  Well, a major Israeli fast food chain, Burger Ranch, stumbled upon his hilarious pictures and the next thing you know, my cousin Howard is starring in a burger commercial.  The company didn’t seem to mind that my cousin doesn’t speak a lick of Korean, even though he has to yell defiantly into the camera in that language.

Burger Ranch is apparently a pretty huge chain in Israel, competing mainly with McDonald’s Israel.  In 2010, Burger Ranch took over all local branches of its other competitor, Burger King.

Watch the full-length commercial here (no subtitles though), and like his Facebook page here.

Domo toaster makes burnt toast look awesome

I have a tendency to burn my cooking, but this Domo toaster may be the cutest way to scorch food and get away with it.  It’s kind of expensive for a toaster, though.  You’ll have to fork out $49 at Urban Outfitters to get one, and while it’s super cute, you might want to read the mixed reviews first.  Really want an adorable toaster to get you up in the morning?  This Hello Kitty toaster is a little girlier but less pricey!

 Domo Toaster
(Thanks, Tony!)

Ahmed Angel, the real life Blue Steel

Ahmed Angel taken by Pej from Facebook

Sometimes we come across human beings who are simply gems, a cut above the rest of us mere mortals.  Meet Ahmed Angel, an 18-year old from Iraq, who has recently been popping up all over the internet — and no wonder, what with that disarming “Blue Steel” pose (a la Zoolander), perfectly gelled hair, and immaculate airbrushed makeup.  He’s got a treasure trove of photos on his Facebook, and apparently a rapidly growing fan base.

Sure, the title of his YouTube video, “Ahmed Angel is Planet,” doesn’t really make sense.  But after you watch it, you’ll realize that making sense really isn’t the point.

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Turn your kid into Krang, the evil brain from TMNT

Remember Krang, the evil brain from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles who controlled a massive robotic body?  Well, it seems some inventors in Japan thought it would be a brilliant idea to equip children with the equivalent of Krang’s body.  Called “Kidswalker,” it’s basically a metal exoskeleton that allows a child to sit inside and, just like Krang, use levers to control the robot’s arms.  Oh, and just to make things even more interesting for parents, the robot’s arms feature a metal claw and a drill.  Because that’s exactly what you want to put in the hands of a bratty kid.

You’ve got to be a pretty special mom or dad to get your child this gadget, especially since it costs $21,000.

Now, admit it. Doesn’t it have a scary resemblance to the charming creature?

krang

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(Thanks, Lia!)

Miss Korea contestants creepily all look the same

Human cloning has finally been discovered!  OK, that’s an exaggeration but seriously, there’s something a bit off with this year’s Miss Korea contestants.  South Korea has the highest rate of plastic surgery per capita according to the Economist, so you do the math when it comes to the picture below.

The photos sparked a fiery debate on Reddit, with users doing some serious bashing on how ubiquitous plastic surgery has become in Korea.  One user wrote, “I live in Korea, and older women complain how girls don’t look Korean anymore because of all the plastic surgery. It’s so common to the point if I meet a girl, I just assume she has had something done. Girls here consider eye surgery just like using makeup.”

Don’t get me wrong, these girls are very pretty.  But it’s uncanny how similar their chin, eyes and nose are.  I’ve actually heard that those three features often come as a “package” at many plastic surgery clinics in Korea.

miss korea contestants plastic surgery

(Thanks, Julie!)

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Tianlang Guan is youngest golfer to ever make Masters Tournament

I don’t know what you were doing at age 14, but Tianlang Guan is proving that even a skinny Chinese kid can make international headlines.  The teenager from Guangzhou, China became the youngest golfer to qualify for The Masters Tournament.  At age 14, he’s literally an 8th grade boy competing amongst men, and many professional golfers much older than him struggle to even get to Guan’s current level.  To put things in perspective, the legendary Tiger Woods didn’t even qualify for the Masters until he was 19 years old.

“It’s frightening to think that he was born after I won my first Masters,” Woods said. “I mean, that’s just frightening.”

It’s pretty interesting watching interviews about Guan, as I would have assumed he attended an expensive sports school (there are many in China).  However, he just goes to a regular middle school in Guangzhou, balancing homework with practicing golf after school.  Golf isn’t a huge sport in China, but Guan’s passion for the sport started at age four when he tagged along with his dad on the golf course.  When he was just six years old, he traveled for his first international competition.  Watch this kid — he’s going to be the next big thing in golf!

Tianlang Guan Tiger Woods

(Thanks, Hubie)

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Fob revelation: chicken feet is a traditional American food?!

chicken feet

I was watching Bizarre Foods America featuring the local cuisine in Charleston, South Carolina and was totally shocked to see some of the dishes they featured: chicken feet, pigs ears, pork trotters…even pig snout!  Whoa whoa whoa…hold up.  What am I doing in San Francisco?  I should be living in the South!

For all foodie snobbery that San Francisco touts, nothing warmed my chicken-heart-loving heart as much as seeing this sweet old African-American granny stirring a big pot of chicken feet.  Then, Andrew Zimmern starts serving out slices of pig ears, a sausage-looking dish made of snout, and a stew of pig trotters.  You don’t even know how much I love pig ears.  They’re so crunchy — the texture is like no other.  These dishes have apparently been around for hundreds of years, dating back to the days of slavery.  Impoverished people would make do with leftover cuts of meat, and turn them into delicious soul food dishes.

I wonder how Southern-style chicken feet compares to my favorite dim sum claws?  Anyone tried it before?

Here are the highlights of the episode — chicken feet part starts at 3:50.