June 16, 2017

In Japan you can buy almost anything from a vending machine: hot tea, sushi, umbrellas, even bread in a can. This video takes a look at the economic and cultural factors that have contributed to Japan’s vending obsession, such as an excess of coinage and a shortage of unskilled labor.

Questions:

  1. How does Japan’s low birth rate contribute to its vending machine culture?
  2. What are the advantages and disadvantages of relying so heavily on vending machines?
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July 14, 2016

Since Pokémon Go’s launch last week, the mobile app has rapidly grown into a phenomenon with millions of wannabe Pokémasters around the world. In this “augmented reality” game, players literally roam streets, parks and landmarks on a search for the famed “pocket monsters” of the Japanese franchise. When one of these creatures appears on a user’s smartphone screen, they can then capture it to add to their collection. The ultimate goal for players is to abide by Pokémon’s longstanding slogan, Continue reading

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