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The Japanese scientist in the white labcoat says so
April 17, 2006 7:26 AM   Subscribe

Everything you thought you knew about stirring beverages, putting on Band-Aids, rolling up sleeves, removing carpet stains, de-scaling fish, and quieting crying babies is wrong or inefficient.
posted by reformedjerk (32 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
*puts on a labcoat* and reformedjerk is wrong ! No, he is wrong !
posted by elpapacito at 7:38 AM on April 17, 2006


And putting cocaine in coffee, certainly improves the taste ! Didn't need a labcoat to tell me that !
posted by elpapacito at 7:43 AM on April 17, 2006


(i) What are these things?

(ii) Huh?

(iii) What is going on in the one about blowing on the babies?

(iv) Why are these fascinating to me?
posted by dios at 7:46 AM on April 17, 2006


dios I guess it's slurping the water , combining air with liquid as in tasting wine ! Fantastic , it really quiets crying babies !

*blames reformedjerk for finding me a new addictive program I don't understand ! *
posted by elpapacito at 7:50 AM on April 17, 2006


What really fascinates me about Japanese TV SHows is that there is always text ALL OVER the screen. That would drive me nuts...
posted by emptybowl at 7:51 AM on April 17, 2006


You forgot folding clothes (previously).
posted by rafter at 7:53 AM on April 17, 2006


With a crying baby at home to try that out on, I'm totally eager to try it and see if it works more than once. Usually though, something new is enough to get them distracted from crying. It'll work twice, and then the novelty is off. Just like TV audiences.
posted by inthe80s at 7:54 AM on April 17, 2006


Are these clips all/mostly from the same show? Why don't they have something like this in the States?

These little things would improve my life.
posted by rafter at 8:01 AM on April 17, 2006


This is one of my favorite genres of Japanese television. There are all kinds of shows about how to turn Jagariko into mashed potatoes or how to revive stale bread with a water soaked paper towel. This type of show is mostly geared toward the frugal housewife, but I'm always impressed with how scientific they are. They don't just tell you something, there is always an experiment to establish proof.

In fact, this is the third piece I've seen about calming crying babies. The other two involved playing specific commercial jingles.
posted by Alison at 8:03 AM on April 17, 2006


You forgot folding clothes

If I've taken anything useful away from MeFi in the previous five years it's been the t-shirt folding trick...
posted by wfrgms at 8:08 AM on April 17, 2006


How to make your fleece like brand new.

Oh yeah! I'm going to try this on my fleece.
posted by wfrgms at 8:15 AM on April 17, 2006


inthe80s is right. Generally any slightly unusual sound will quiet a baby temporarily. Flapping your lips (like imitating a running car) also works well. For about 30 seconds.
posted by Ljubljana at 8:45 AM on April 17, 2006


Knowing how to tie a wicked-fast shoelace knot has improved my life immensely. I have seconds of free time every day! Seconds! I've been tying my shoes like this ever since I was eleven. I can't even do the bunny-ears method anymore.

But poking around Ian's Shoelace Site for even a few minutes makes me want to stay away from the internet for awhile.
posted by hydrophonic at 8:57 AM on April 17, 2006


But what is the white powder they put in the coffee? Is it Bicarbonate of soda?
posted by Blue Stone at 9:02 AM on April 17, 2006


They're putting salt in the coffee.
posted by stavrogin at 9:10 AM on April 17, 2006


I once had a band-aid fall off in the tub like that little boy. I was just the right age (and the right size) that I still get a quiver of castration anxiety when I think of the moment it floated free.
posted by bovious at 9:28 AM on April 17, 2006


This is the best thing on the internet ever!

I guess this is another use of salt - to help tofu keep its shape when cooking it.

I like this one about how to increase the brightness of a flashlight when you're out camping.
posted by Blue Stone at 9:38 AM on April 17, 2006


I love the triumphant music when the properly stirred hot beverage doesn't leave sludge at the bottom.
posted by arcticwoman at 9:46 AM on April 17, 2006


The inset reaction shots of the people watching these demonstrations remind me of the videos of that Japanese illusionist who's been linked here before.
It's just what those late-night infomercials over here need, too. "He set it and just forgot it? OH MY GOD WHAT KIND OF DARK MAGIC IS THIS?"
posted by emelenjr at 9:59 AM on April 17, 2006


that shoelace site is badass.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 10:09 AM on April 17, 2006


What are the four people doing in the How To Roll Up Long Sleeves video, with the basket-hats and hip bags?
posted by odinsdream at 10:37 AM on April 17, 2006


MetaUTube?
posted by scblackman at 10:55 AM on April 17, 2006


Am I seeing people sip wine and then blow their alcohol breathe over their babies faces? I can see how this might quell a crying baby. Plus it looks fun.
posted by 206emily at 11:01 AM on April 17, 2006


Generally any slightly unusual sound will quiet a baby temporarily.

My twins are eight months now; I can tell you that the method of quieting babies described in "The Happiest Baby On The Block" actually worked really, really well -- and most of the time you could put them down after the crying stopped, and it wouldn't start up again (unless the baby was actually hungry or in pain, in which case you WOULD want it to start up again.)

Of course, neither of my babies had colic, so YMMV. And for learning the proper hold for stopping crying, I recommend the DVD over the book (although the book had a lot of useful stuff, too.)
posted by davejay at 11:14 AM on April 17, 2006


I am *so* going to give that band-aid trick a go. I'm forever slicing up my fingers on the sharp metal edges inside computer cases, and I've even had to resort to using duck tape over the top of the plaster to get the slippery little buggers to stay in place more than 10 minutes.
posted by ArkhanJG at 11:36 AM on April 17, 2006


206emily : "Am I seeing people sip wine and then blow their alcohol breathe over their babies faces?"

Nope. You're seeing people drinking water (or wine, or whathaveyou) and slurping air up through it, making a gurgling sound that perhaps/supposedly makes kids quit crying. Air is going in, not out.

odinsdream : "What are the four people doing in the How To Roll Up Long Sleeves video, with the basket-hats and hip bags?"

They're scooping up loaches, of course. Which, of course, seems wacky and bizarre to our western tastes, but to the Japanese also seems...wacky and bizarre, which is why they had that segment.
posted by Bugbread at 11:39 AM on April 17, 2006


The reason there is text on the screen in Japanese shows is that the dialects vary from region to region and it's wicked hard to understand what a person from Kyushu says if you are from Tohoku.

Next time you watch Cops, try to see how much of what some of those people say is understandable without subtitles. Text on Japanese shows makes is SO much easier for me to follow what some marble-mouthed drunk salaryman is saying to the camera.
posted by Dantien at 12:47 PM on April 17, 2006


Dantien : "The reason there is text on the screen in Japanese shows is that the dialects vary from region to region and it's wicked hard to understand what a person from Kyushu says if you are from Tohoku."

I have no proof that what you say is incorrect. What I am about to say is totally a matter of personal opinion:

WTF? What part of your ass are you pulling that out of?

Yes, it's wicked hard to understand what a person from Kyushu says if you're from Tohoku. However, it's wicked easy to understand what a person from Kanto says if you're from Tohoku, and it's wicked easy to understand what a person from Kanto says if you're from Kyushu. Since pretty much everything on those clips is people talking hyojungo/kyotsugo (depending how PC you are), those subtitles have jack to do with dialect variation.

I don't know what started up Japan's tendency to put stuff all over the screen. I notice that it's shared by Korea, but that may be coincidental. It may be because when TV started people couldn't understand Kanto Japanese. But the reason it happens now is that it's just a self-perpetuating part of culture. Even if it came from some historical dialect rationale, saying that that is why it is on the screen now is akin to saying "Americans say 'goodbye' to eachother when parting because they are all strict Christians, and cannot part without saying to eachother 'god be with ye'".
posted by Bugbread at 1:02 PM on April 17, 2006


I think it has more to do with national pride in a high literacy rate. Why listen carefully when you can read? Plus, it is easier to infer the meaning of a complicated word if you can see the characters used to write it.
posted by Alison at 1:08 PM on April 17, 2006


I guess this is another use of salt - to help tofu keep its shape when cooking it.

But please note that when they mix the salt and the water, they do not use the efficient stirring method in the link above. Instead, they just swirl it around with their fingers.

Therefore, I feel fully justified in ignoring all of the techniques in the linked videos.
posted by UrineSoakedRube at 2:07 PM on April 17, 2006


Maybe it's just me but the amount of time that they allowed the cup to drain inverted looked considerably longer with the promoted stirring method on the 10 minute dissolve proof than with the traditional stirring method.
posted by bz at 3:16 PM on April 17, 2006


Someone taught me that shoelace trick a long time ago, and it's a pretty cool party trick (when you're 10) but they don't stay tied as long.

And to respond to SCBlackman, Try VideoSift
posted by radioamy at 1:20 AM on April 19, 2006


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