Monday, 5 January 2009

2008 OTN Awards: Part 3

It's Part 3, and when you finish reading this you'll be over half-way through the 2008! Osu! Tatakae! Nippon! Awards! Doesn't that sound like something worth fighting for? Come on, push through to the other side - I know you can make it.

Most Insane Person Award

On the 23rd of November, Mizuta Manabu, a 35 year old salaryman, was arrested for "obstructing business". That's a euphemism of course. Why not take a guess at what it's a euphemism for...?

Well, if you didn't guess "throwing 200 mealworms, the well-known larvae of the fantastically named 'Darkling Beetle', at passengers in a train carriage, whilst carrying a further 3,600 mealworms in his backpack for immediate-future use", then you guessed wrong.

In trying desperately to justify his actions he said, "I wanted to see women get scared and shake their legs". And isn't it tragic when someone tries so hard to look less mad but only succeeds in looking madder than they ever could have if only they'd kept their mouth shut? He said more, too. Evidently he wasn't getting the reaction he'd hoped for from the police. He said, "It was fun to watch other passengers freak out when they looked at the creepy worms wiggling their way inside the train". And to back all this up he then added, "The worms wiggle around and are so weird. I like seeing people surprised".

Clearest Portent Of The Apocalypse Award

Oh man but this was a closely-fought category. I've covered some of the potential ends-of-the-world on this blog before, and choosing one particular story out of those and the many more that I've read was extremely difficult. But I've done it, and the winner of this category is the new technology developed by the ATR Computational Neuroscience Laboratory which analyzes the cerebral blood-flow in a person's brain and can reconstruct images from their mind and display them on a computer monitor. Sorry, let me rephrase that: the winners are the scientists who can now take pictures directly from people's BRAINS.

Ok, so the scientists did kind of put them there in the first place and then worked backwards, but they're now able to work forwards in a stumbling, black-and-white, grainy-imaged kind of way, and the point is that it's not a case of science anymore, it's a case of just improving the technology. And it won't take much but time to improve that technology. And once they do they'll not only be able to read the images from your mind, but potentially put them there too. And before you know it we're in The Matrix.