‘League of Legends’ champion Hai Lam retires with wrist injury

One of eSports’ biggest gamers is retiring due to a persistent wrist injury. Hai Lam is the captain of Cloud9, which is known as the best U.S. eSports team for the online multiplayer game League of Legends. It’s not uncommon for professional athletes to retire when faced with chronic injuries, and as is the case with professional gamers: their intense training regimens and busy tournament schedules means quite a bit of stress on their bodies.

Lam explained his reasons for retirement via a blog post on the Cloud9 website, sharing that his wrist injury made it hard to deliver at the high level demanded by his position. Lam will still be involved with Cloud9, acting as the “Chief Gaming Officer” and helping to recruit and mentor new players, as well as maintaining the group’s partnerships.

The remarkable art of giving and receiving change in Japan

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RocketNews 24:

If you’re tired of receiving vacant smiles and flippant customer service at your local grocery store, you may want to make a trip to Japan, where the customer always comes first and every transaction is concluded with a graceful bow.

This remarkable attention to customer service even extends to the handling of cash transactions in shops around the country. Akin to an art form, a simple payment to a store clerk in Japan will inevitably set off a series of steps and precise movements to satisfy the needs of both parties and respectively complete the exchange. Come with us as we take you through the steps of a simple transaction in Japan. The attention to detail and the clever reasons for it will surprise you.

The easy-to-follow pictograph above was created by Twitter user @M_Shiroh, who was so impressed with the cashier’s skill on a recent trip to the supermarket that they decided to document the details of the exchange.

Next time you make a purchase in Japan, make note of the way the cashier handles your change. If they’re good at their craft, you’ll receive your money in the following order and with a sense of gravitas befitting royalty.

1. Counting your notes

In Japan, notes are adorned with portraits on one side. The cashier will hold out the notes with these portraits facing you and the notes will be parallel to a wall as opposed to the floor. Using two hands, the amount will be counted out verbally as they flick through each note.

2. Handing over your notes

The notes will then be handed to you in a neat stack with the largest one on the bottom. When you put them in your wallet, your notes will now be in order from lowest to highest, making it more convenient for you when it comes to paying for your next transaction.

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3. Handing over your coins and receipt

Next, the cashier will fold your receipt if it’s particularly long, and then place the coins neatly on top. By doing this, the receipt will protect the palm of your hand from coming into contact with any coins. You’ll then be able to slide the small change easily into your coin compartment and either return the receipt into the special box that’s often provided on the counter or slide it into your wallet. Cue graceful bow and you’re on your way!

Not only is this a wonderful way to treat the customer and ensure there are no mistakes or disputes, it’s also a great way to keep long queues moving quickly.

Starbucks Japan to release frozen drink maker for homemade cool refreshments

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RocketNews 24:

Who’s ready for the hot and humid summer? Japan is approaching the second half of spring, and Starbucks has your back. Later this month they’ll be releasing the “Starbucks Frozen Drink Maker” – a reusable mug that doubles as a super simple frozen coffee mixer. It’s easy, it’s cold and it’s delicious. Let’s take a look!

Starbucks Coffee Japan, will be releasing their “Starbucks Frozen Drink Maker” on May 13 in outlets across the country, so you’ll have plenty of time to practice before the blistering summer really hits full force.

Not that you’ll need a lot of practice though, as the cup makes it incredibly easy to make frozen coffee, which is good, because you might be making it before you’ve had your morning joe, obviously.

The cup is an original design by Starbucks’ kitchenware division and is quite a design indeed. It consists of an inner core and an outer shell. Your frozen drink takes a bit of foresight though, as you have to stick the inner core in the freezer overnight (or at least for a significant length of time) before you can use it.

After the core has been successfully chilled, however, all you have to do is pop it into the glass outer sleeve, pour in a packet of Starbucks VIA flavored instant coffee and 180 millilitres (6 US fluid ounces) of milk, then wait two minutes. Once there is a frozen crust, break it with the special spoon and gently stir it up for seven more minutes. The seven minutes of stirring may tire you out a bit, but it will be well worth it for the delightfully refreshing frozen coffee drink you will create.

▼ It will be so easy to make any flavor you want by using the instant coffee sticks.

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The only problem we foresee with this system is that if you want to make more than one drink a day, you’ll either have to wait a long time between drinks, in order to allow the inner core to freeze again, or you’ll just need to have multiple cores chilling in the freezer at any given time. Good thing it comes in the three different “refreshing summer colors” of yellow, white, and light blue. You might as well get one of each. At 3,000 yen (US$25) a pop, however, perhaps it would be best just to stick to one frozen drink a day.

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A daily dose of frozen coffee may not make you immune to the stickiness of summer, but it will at least give you an occasional refreshing respite and now you don’t even have to leave the comfortable air-conditioning of your home to get it. Thank you, Starbucks; summer suddenly seems a little less daunting.

Nepal’s landmarks, before and after the earthquake

Trailokya Mohan Narayan Temple, Katmandu

2014

Before: Trailokya Mohan Narayan Temple, Katmandu
April 25, 2015
Before: Trailokya Mohan Narayan Temple, Katmandu
Volunteers helped to remove the debris of a three-story temple.

Vatsala Shikhara Temple, Bhaktapur

July 2014

Before: Vatsala Shikhara Temple, Bhaktapur

April 26, 2015

Before: Vatsala Shikhara Temple, Bhaktapur

After the earthquake, people occupied the square in front of a collapsed temple in Bhaktapur, eight miles east of Katmandu.

Dharahara Tower, Katmandu

July 15, 2013

Before: Dharahara Tower, Katmandu

April 25, 2015

Before: Dharahara Tower, Katmandu

A nine-story structure built in 1832 on orders from the queen. It was made of bricks more than a foot thick, and had recently been reopened to the public. Sightseers could climb a narrow spiral staircase to a viewing platform about 200 feet above the city.

Maju Deval, Katmandu

July 2014

Before: Maju Deval, Katmandu

April 25, 2015

Before: Maju Deval, Katmandu

This temple, built in 1690, is a Unesco World Heritage Site.

WTAPS 2015 Spring/Summer Editorial by ‘GRIND’ Magazine (Japan)

GILAPPLE Blue & White Light by UNDERCOVER (Japan)

UNDERCOVER joins forces with Medicom Toy once again to add two new colorways to its GILAPPLE Light series. Standing at approximately 100mm, the accessory is powered by three AAA batteries and provides sufficient amount of light without taking up too much space.

Perfect for your desk or night stand, the latest blue and white colorways will be available for purchase starting April 29 at select Medicom Toy and UNDERCOVER retailers, as well as online accounts like Zozotown. The previous red, black, silver and green versions are also available.

INVINCIBLE reopens in Taipei

Six things Tokyo has less of than any other city in Japan

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RocketNews 24:

Being the capital city, Tokyo very often tends to come out on top when it comes to rankings – it’s the top tourist destination for foreign visitors, the safest city in the world, the most populated (in fact, the most densely populated place on earth), has long been one of the most expensive (that dubious honor now belongs to Singapore, apparently), was recently declared the most satisfying city…we could go on.

But the student section of Japanese website MyNavi published a list this week of six national rankings that Tokyo comes at the bottom of – things it does worse at than any other city in Japan. Let’s take a look at what they found!

Tokyo is seriously lacking in…

6) Babies

Japan already has one of the lowest birth rates in the world, and that rate plummets to its lowest in the capital. According to the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, Tokyo women have a total fertility rate (a calculation of the average number of children born to a woman in her lifetime) of 1.13.

▼ Which means a hypothetical woman can be expected to give birth to 1 and ⅛ of a child. Ouch!

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5) Farmland

Urban sprawl has left the Tokyo area with just 7,400 hectares of agricultural land. That’s one twentieth of that found in neighbouring Ibaraki Prefecture, which boasts some 173,000 hectares.

4) Rice production

With barely any land to grow it on, it’s no surprise that the Tokyo Metropolis produces less rice than any other prefecture in Japan. Still, Tokyoites managed to grow 666 tons of rice last year – although that pales into significance compared with the 657,000 tons produced in Niigata Prefecture in the same period.

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3) Home owners

Only 46 percent of Tokyo households live in their own home, significantly below the national average of 61 percent. Other prefectures with a high proportion of renters include Okinawa, Fukuoka, and Osaka. The city with the highest rate of home owners is Fukuyama in Hiroshima Prefecture where 80 percent of households live in a home they own.

▼ “Meh, home owning isn’t all it’s cracked up to be anyway.”

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2) Car owners

Tokyo has more cars than any other city in Japan, but when you look at the average number of cars per household, the capital comes in bottom of the list nationally, with just under 0.5 cars per household. The prefecture with the most car owners on average is Fukui Prefecture, with an average of 1.7 cars per household.

▼ Statistics on the average number of itasha per Tokyo household, sadly, are not yet available.

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1) Renewable energy

It’s not just in food production that Tokyo depends heavily on other areas of the country. According to the Institute for Sustainable Energy Policies, just 0.4 percent of the capital city’s energy is from renewable sources – the lowest in the country. In Akita Prefecture, by contrast, 19 percent of energy used is from renewables.

▼ Well, there isn’t as much space in the metropolis to start building wind farms as there is up in Akita.

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The MyNavi Student article also cites an international study of climate change awareness that found Tokyoites to be less knowledgeable about global warming than residents of New York, London, Shanghai or Mumbai. Just 30 percent of Tokyo residents surveyed said they thought about the effects of global warming, putting them bottom of the five cities surveyed.

tokyobike Custom City Cycle