Headlines 

SoftBank punt on WeWork office space hub is risky business

Workspace company makes substantial losses and providing short-term office space is notoriously cyclical WeWork, according to the founders blurb, is a place you join as an individual, me, but where you become part of a greater we. A place where were redefining success measured by personal fulfilment, not just the bottom line. Very uplifting, but youd probably think twice before investing. Funky murals and cheese-tasting events for tenants are eye-catching but, in the end, WeWork is a provider of office space on short-term leases, which is a notoriously cyclical game.…

Read More
Odds and Ends 

Olympic Legend Uses Butt to Smash the Most Random World Record Ever

Saori Yoshida is wrestling royalty in Japan. With 3 Olympic Gold Medals (and 1 silver) and 13 world championships, she was also the flagbearer for Japan at the 2012 Olympics. In 2007, she became the first female wrestler to be named Japanese Athlete of the Year, and in 2012 she received the People’s Honour Award. So yeah, she’s kind of a big deal. On August 25, 2018 she also became the official World Record Holder for “Most balloons burst by sitting in one minute” with 123 balloons burst. The bizarre…

Read More
Odds and Ends 

A Japanese Architecture Firm Designed the Coolest Kindergarten Ever

Design by Tezuka Architects | Photograph by Katsuhisa Kida At the award-winning Fuji Kindergarten in Tokyo, children run endless laps around a ringed roof that doubles as a playground. Completed in 2007 by Tezuka Architects, the Montessori can accommodate up to 600 children aged 2-6. The continuous space allows children to freely explore, discover and interact with their environment. There is no play equipment installed and the roof is only 2.1 metres tall (6’8″), allowing a close connection between levels. Children can scramble up a bank and climb a set…

Read More
Headlines 

A Great Vehicle Lurks in HyundaisCorporate Chop Shop

Is the tide turning in the favor of activist shareholder Elliott Management Corp. in its drive to clean up the web of more than two dozen auto-related companies at the core of the Hyundai chaebol? On Wednesday, South Korean media reported that the group may cancel a central part of a restructuring plan that’s been opposed by Elliott, in the form of the planned merger between its logistics business Hyundai Glovis Co. and the after-sales division of parts supplier Hyundai Mobis Co. The company batted down the reports but shares in Mobis and…

Read More
Headlines 

Asia Stocks Mixed on Trade Volleys; Kiwi Slumps: Markets Wrap

Asian stocks traded mixed as China hit back against the Trump administration’s latest tariffs and tensions ratcheted up between the U.S. and Russia. The yen edged higher, while oil held on to its losses. Shares fell in Japan and South Korea, fluctuated in Hong Kong, and pushed higher in China and Australia. Treasuries added to gains made as investors scooped up a record $26 billion 10-year auction. The kiwi tumbled to a two-year low after the New Zealand central bank pushed out its forecast for a rate increase by a…

Read More
Odds and Ends 

Apple is rebuilding Maps from the ground up

I’m not sure if you’re aware, but the launch of Apple Maps went poorly. After a rough first impression, an apology from the CEO, several years of patching holes with data partnerships and some glimmers of light with long-awaited transit directions and improvements in business, parking and place data, Apple Maps is still not where it needs to be to be considered a world-class service. Maps needs fixing. Apple, it turns out, is aware of this, so it’s re-building the maps part of Maps. It’s doing this by using first-party data…

Read More
Headlines 

World Cup 2018 power rankings: Brazil and Croatia lead the way

At the end of the group stage we rank the 32 teams at the World Cup in Russia, with Brazil top, England in 10th and Panama last 1) Brazil It is hard to shake the feeling that Brazil are the best-balanced side at this World Cup. win over Serbia and they look capable of raising things further. thumping win over Argentina. A meeting with Spain in the last eight looks likely and Zlatko Dalics side cannot be ruled out of doing something special. 3) Belgium Whether or not they really…

Read More
Odds and Ends 

Japanese Fans Clean Stadium After Historic World Cup Win vs Colombia

After Japan’s historic 2-1 win against Colombia in their opening round matchup of the 2018 World Cup in Russia, Japanese fans were spotted cleaning the stadium afterwards. In fact, the same classy move was also observed after the Senegal vs Poland game. The win for Japan marked a first in several categories: – It was the first time Japan had won a World Cup game on European soil – It was the first time a team from Asia beat a team from South America As for Colombia, it was a…

Read More
Odds and Ends 

Theres a Garden Contest on the Backs of Japanese Mini Trucks and Its Awesome

Japanese mini trucks or Kei trucks, are small practical vehicles that meet Japan’s guidelines as a ‘light vehicle’. They are popular in Japan because of their manoeuvrability through small side streets and their ability to park in tight spaces. According to Spoon & Tamago, there’s an annual contest sponsored by the Japan Federation of Landscape Contractors that challenges drivers to transform the back of their trucks into miniature gardens. There are few limitations and that has inspired people to stretch the idea of a garden into wild and creative places.…

Read More
Headlines 

These Hyperrealistic Paintings By A Japanese Artist Are So Precise You Might Confuse Them With Photos

Kei Mieno is a Japanese artist born in Hiroshima who has been painting professionally for more than 10 years already. This 33-year-old painter specializes in hyperrealism, and mostly uses oil paint to create his masterpieces. Recently, Kei shared an image on Twitter of a woman lying in the river, and it left many of his followers speechless when they realized that the woman in the stream is created in the artist‘s head. The details and texture of the painting are so precise that it‘s not difficult to confuse it with…

Read More
Headlines 

Ominous Views of Japan’s New Concrete Seawalls

In 2011, a devastating tsunami crashed into the northeast coast of Japan, destroying entire villages, killing thousands and causing a meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. In the wake of the disaster, the Japanese government implemented a number of reforms, including relocating coastal villages to higher land and forbidding further development along the northeast coastline.

Read More
Headlines 

Bitcoin Falls on Fears of Regulatory Trouble for Big Crypto Exchange

Japan’s FSA warns Binance for operating without a license Biggest cryptocurrency fell 4.5% after news first reported told Bloomberg in January that it was working to acquire a license in Japan, but the warning could complicate those efforts. Zhao said on Thursday that the exchange is “engaged in constructive dialogue” with the FSA. While Binance was founded in Hong Kong last year, Zhao has said that his company does not currently have a legal headquarters anywhere in the world.

Read More
Headlines 

Billionaire Singh Brothers Accused by New York Investor of Siphoning Cash

India’s billionaire Singh brothers, already embroiled in one international legal battle over alleged fraud, are being accused of "diversion, siphoning and digression of assets" by a New York-based investor in a lawsuit filed in the High Court of Delhi. The lending arm of Malvinder and Shivinder Singh’s publicly traded financial services firm, Religare Enterprises Ltd., made 21 loans to a number of seemingly independent companies that routed at least $300 million back to privately held Singh firms on the same day, according to a central bank investigation of the company’s fiscal 2016…

Read More
Headlines 

Massive Cryptocurrency Heist Spurs Calls for More Regulation

At 2:57 a.m. on Friday morning in Tokyo, someone hacked into the digital wallet of Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck Inc. and pulled off one of the biggest heists in history. Three days later, the theft of nearly $500 million in digital tokens is still reverberating through cryptocurrency markets and policy circles around the world. The episode, disclosed by Coincheck executives at a hastily arranged press conference on Friday night, has heightened calls for stricter oversight at a time when many governments are working out how to regulate the booming cryptocurrency exchange…

Read More