There’s something about the perspective of the Japanese that allows them to home in on the essential elements of foreign cultures and then perfectly recreate them at home. "Part of what’s going on is simply the globalization of taste, culture, cuisine and the way that, in the modern world, you can get almost anything everywhere. But Japanese Americana is more than that. There’s a special way that the Japanese sensibility has focused on what is great, distinctive and worthy of protection in American culture, even when Americans have not realized the same thing."
Giant rubber duckie artist appalled at imitation giant rubber duckie. “Shanzhai does not thrive on creativity, it thrives on reaching those people who can’t reach the original product, either without geographic proximity or monetary power.” (via)
We document a male Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) that imitates human speech, matching Korean formants and fundamental frequency in such detail that Korean native speakers can readily understand and transcribe the imitations. (full text, PDF, video and sound files) (Previously: the belugas NOC and Lagosi, Hoover the talking seal, unfortunately paywalled) (via Homunculus)
Staying_On-Topic in r/intelligentanimals posts a huge number of links explaining why Corvids (crows, ravens, magpies, etc) are amazing.
This is a clip of Tim Kurkjian, a major league baseball analyst known for his citation of obscure statistics and unorthodox sources. These are clips of baseball players imitating Tim Kurkjian, plus ensuing hilarity. [via]
"I called Sam and asked him if he wanted to come to dinner but he said he had softball practice and I said that was a damned shame and hung up. When I got to Sun City Bea and Rob were at were at the bar, behind tattooed women and men with guitars. They were sitting in the shade and their beers were half empty. We drank beer and ate pho but Rob was restless and did not talk very much..." Ernest Hemingway, Yelper. Fill free to riff up and add your best Imitation Hemingway below. Here is a guide and a sample
Fake the Beatles : WFMU DJ Gaylord Fields delivers an entertaining presentation on the mid-1960s cottage industry in Beatles soundalike records. Other Beatlesque imitators to follow below the fold. [more inside]
23. It's like Flickr, a lot like Flickr--and maybe better. Better at some things. Stories. Upload limits. The layout. Ordering prints. They are doing things from the beginning that Flickr worked a couple years to figure out in the first place. Flickr of course is way ahead of 23 in numbers (people and money). Does it make sense to challenge that lead? (And to do so with an overt knock-off?) If 23 provides a better service, should they lose out for being second to the party? How can they pay their debt of gratitude to Flickr for being the obvious inspiration and an open-book instruction manual, and should they? When does the flattery of imitation become legitimate--or illegitimate--competition? Notice in the terms they claim ownership of the concept and the design. Can 23 apply for any of the street cred Flickr may have given up in favor of being Yahoo!ed? Is it reasonable to expect better work from a scrappy upstart than a happy sell-out? Can two successful photo sharing sites co-exist, or join forces? Is there enough community to support more than one good one?
Imitation chicken. Kennedy Fried Chicken, JFK Fried Chicken, J. F. Kennedy Fried Chicken, Kantacky Fried Chicken, et al. [via cardhouse]
Apple: Innovator & Oppressor of Independent Software: As they once did with Karelia's Watson software and, to a certain extent, Panic's Audion, Apple has "borrowed" a concept from an independent, third-party developer without credit or compensation. It would seem that Steve Jobs is not as far removed from Bill Gates as he would like the Mac faithful to believe . . .