Category Archives: SOCIETY

“Apple unveils disability-themed emojis in push for greater diversity”

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From CNN.COM, 7/17/19

Apple will introduce disability-themed emojis in a move designed to “bring even more diversity to the keyboard.”

The emojis, which were unveiled to coincide with World Emoji Day, will include a guide dog, an ear with a hearing aid, wheelchairs, a prosthetic arm and a prosthetic leg. They will be available to use later this year.

“Celebrating diversity in all its many forms is integral to Apple’s values and these new options help fill a significant gap in the emoji keyboard,” an Apple spokesperson said in a statement.

Apple submitted the proposal for more disability-inclusive emojis to the Unicode Consortium last year.

The tech giant submitted a proposal for more emojis that were inclusive of disability in a proposal sent to the Unicode Consortium — the nonprofit organization that sets the global standard for emojis — in March 2018.

“Currently, emoji provide a wide range of options, but may not represent the experiences of those with disabilities,” Apple wrote at the time. “Diversifying the options available helps fill a significant gap and provides a more inclusive experience for all.”

Apple (AAPL) said it chose options that are most inclusive of people in four main categories: blind and low vision, deaf and hard of hearing, physical motor disabilities and hidden disabilities.

The iPhone maker said it had consulted with top organizations for people with disabilities when submitting the proposal.

Apple noted that the new additions to the emoji keyboard are designed to be a starting point, not a comprehensive list of all potential disabilities.

Kristina Barrick, a spokesperson for UK disability equality charity Scope, said the move was a “positive step towards disability being well and truly represented in the world of emoji.”

“We’ve had ghosts, robots, a poo with a face …continue reading


Snuggle up to the most handsome gorilla on the planet with the Shabani Arm Pillow

shabani gorilla pillow arm cushion japan handsome

Anyone with an Instagram or YouTube account can become a celebrity these days. And sometimes you don’t even need to be human.

In fact, Japan has something of a tradition of turning animals into famous pop culture figures. This is especially the case with cats, such as Maru the YouTube sensation or Tama the station master.

Somewhat further up the food chain is Shabani: a photogenic Western lowland gorilla who resides in Higashiyama Zoo, Nagoya, Shabani became well known in around 2015 when people (especially women) started to notice how handsome he is — and how human he seemed with his good looks. The “metrosexual” gorilla has since spawned a veritable industry of merchandise and tie-in products.

The latest, and probably the most innovative so far, is this Shabani Gorilla Arm Pillow.

Snuggle up to the hunkiest primate on the planet with this pillow, a soft and comfortable cushion for resting your head and neck on Shabani’s strong arm. Shabani’s other arm, meanwhile, will hold your phone for you, since you will definitely need to set your alarm in order to wake up from the deep slumber you can enjoy each night with Shabani lying protectively by your side.

shabani gorilla pillow arm cushion japan handsome

shabani gorilla pillow arm cushion japan handsome

shabani gorilla pillow arm cushion japan handsome

shabani gorilla pillow arm cushion japan handsome

shabani gorilla pillow arm cushion japan handsome

shabani gorilla pillow arm cushion japan handsome

Shabani actually already has a couple of female mates but we reckon there’s room in his troop for a few more ladies. Do you want to join?

The Shabani Gorilla Arm Pillow is available now from Japan Trend Shop.

…continue reading


What to Expect When You Take the JLPT N2

Source: Gaijin Pot
What to Expect from JLPT N2

Ah, the JLPT N2. It’s the holy grail of Japanese language proficiency; a sacred qualification that proves to society that you are proficient enough to handle business with business customers in a business environment.

Through the vigorous testing of your ability to read kanji, listen to unrealistic conversations, and memorize grammar points you’ll never use, the N2 will demonstrate your capacity to rub shoulders with the overworked elite of corporate Japan.

The upcoming test is scheduled for Sunday, December 1. Hopefully, you know of this by now, but in order to become a besuited wielder of N2 language, you’ll need to prepare for four sections of the test. In no particular order of pain inflicted, they are:


You’re probably already familiar with the basics of Japanese grammar. But for the N2? Make sure you know the subtle nuances between “if,” “if,” and “if,” when to use these “ifs,” and how to express your feelings based on the order of “ifs” in an incomprehensible sentence.

Reading Comprehension

With the highest weight grade, if you fail this part, well… you know the drill. I’d say if you can read more than the Anpanman magazine in your local barbershop you should be good to go. Except for the fact that the passages tend to intentionally lead you way off course and ask you questions that are totally unrelated to the original topic.


Living in Japan it’s almost guaranteed that you’re at least hearing some Japanese on a daily basis. So that everyday Japanese will translate over to N2, right? The test that seeks to measure real-world ability? Actually, you’ll need to prepare for a conversation about nothing you’ve ever heard before, delivered by people in what’s quite possibly a dead dialect. It might be worth heading to a derelict Snack bar tonight to practice …continue reading