Continuing earthquakes in Kumamoto have moved a GPS observation station nearly one meter

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RocketNews 24 (by Preston Phro):

Strong earthquakes are expected to continue for another week.

The continuing earthquakes that have hit the island of Kyushu for the last four days have wrought significant destruction on the region and resulted in the loss of 41 lives. Beloved historic sites have seen extensive damage, and landslides and a small eruption from the volcano Mount Aso have only added to the disaster and anxiety in the area.

The severity of the earthquakes can be difficult to comprehend, but recent news stories show just how much they have changed the face of the land. According to NHK, one GPS observation point in Minimi Aso moved southwest 97 centimeters (38 inches). The same observation point rose 23 centimeters (about 9 inches). Another observation point moved east-northeast 75 centimeters (about 28.7 inches) and fell 20 centimeters (about 7.87 inches).

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The tremors and aftershocks have yet to stop and NHK reports that over 400 have been detected between the first earthquake on April 14 and noon on April 17. Japan’s meteorological agency expects strong tremors to continue for some time and have called for vigilance in the area, indicating that the earthquakes with a seismic activity of “weak 6” may continue for around another week. Currently, 11 people have been reported missing.

In addition to the earthquakes striking Japan, a massive earthquake has also hit Ecuador, resulting in the deaths of 28 people.

New “Submariner Camera” is ready to get up close and personal with your pet fish

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RocketNews 24 (by Krista Rogers):

On April 28, CCP, a subsidiary of Bandai, will release an underwater recording device dubbed the “Submariner Camera” which can take up-close pictures and videos of your fish like never before. Designed in the guise of a miniature submarine, the gadget is controlled via an infrared remote control and is capable of underwater navigation, surfacing, and left-right rotation.

▼ The Submariner Camera

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▼ The infrared remote control

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▼ It even comes with headlights on each side for some nocturnal navigation!

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▼ Use the bait-holding extendable arm to lure unsuspecting fish into the camera’s field of view.

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The camera (VGA: 640×480 pixels, 30 FPS) is able to record videos for approximately five minutes and can store approximately 800 photos (Quad-VGA: 1280×960 pixels) in its built-in 256MB internal memory. Use the accompanying USB cable to upload the best shots onto your computer and share them with friends.

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The submarine is safe for use in any water 50°C (122°F) or below, meaning it could also be a fun little party trick at your next pool party, or even a way to keep your little ones entertained long enough to give them a bath.

About the only downside to this nifty little gadget is its hefty 10,778 yen (US$100) price tag (tax included).

Rare hand-colored photos of Japanese samurai in the late 1800s

Mashable (by Alex Q. Arbuckle):

The military-nobility caste known as samurai — roughly meaning “those who serve” — emerged in medieval Japan as provincial warriors, and rose to control the country in the 12th century.

As the enforcement arm of the ruling shogunate, the samurai were elevated to a position of privilege. They followed a code of honor called bushido, informed by Confucianism and Zen Buddhism. Bushido emphasized martial fearlessness, discipline and loyalty, as well as general kindness.

These photos, made in the years after Japan finally opened its ports to international trade, capture samurai in their final days. With the 1868 Meiji Restoration and the end of feudalism, carrying swords was prohibited to all but the new national armed forces.

The samurai class was dissolved, but bushido survived as the national moral code of the new Japan.

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Two samurai in firefighter dress.

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