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Lost in translation: Japan’s ‘Fukuppy’ firm rethinks its egg-shaped mascot after online ridicule

Japan’s Fukushima Industries said Tuesday it was rethinking its “Fukuppy” mascot, after the Internet erupted in sniggers over a name that recalls the catalogue of mishandling at the Fukushima nuclear plant. The Osaka-based refrigerator maker, whose name derives from its founder and has nothing to do with the area hit…

Researchers link irregular sleep patterns to childhood behavioral problems

Children who go to to bed at irregular hours are more likely to have behavioral problems, a study has shown. The research, which appeared in the US journal Pediatrics on Monday, found that lifelong problems could result from erratic childhood bedtimes, but that the effects could be reversed with implementation…

NASA fuel cell tech will power Al Gore’s London headquarters

Fuel cell converts gas into heat and electricity without producing carbon emissions Fuel cell technology used to power Nasa’s space shuttle will provide light and heat for Al Gore’s new London headquarters. The fuel cell, which converts gas into heat and electricity without producing carbon emissions, has been installed in…

Chilean man announces suicide via programmed tweet

Injecting suicide into social media, a Chilean chemist left his country stunned Monday after programming a Twitter message to announce his own darkly choreographed death. Pablo Ramdohr, 33, in effect tweeted his own suicide note, telling family around noon on Sunday “I love you,” on the microblogging service, which included…

Sony signs distribution deal with Netflix for ‘Damages’ creators’ new series

Netflix on Monday announced a deal with Sony to create a psychological thriller series for the online streaming and DVD service, ramping up original programming to win subscribers. “Damages” creators Todd Kessler, Daniel Zelman, and Glenn Kessler will begin production of a 13-episode first season of the show from Sony…

Malaysian court rules only Muslims can say ‘Allah’

No more ‘Allah’ for Christians, Malaysian court says (via The Christian Science Monitor) Muslim demonstrators chant slogans outside Malaysia’s Court of Appeal in Putrajaya, outside Kuala Lumpur, Oct. 14. Malaysia’s high court ruled on Monday that a Christian newspaper may not use the word ‘Allah’ to refer to God, a…

Doctors Without Borders: Treat Syria aid as urgently as chemical weapons

Medical charity Doctors Without Borders (MSF) called Tuesday on Syria’s warring groups and the international community to make aiding needy civilians as urgent a priority as dealing with chemical weapons. “Influential countries gathered around a table, thrashed out an agreement on chemical weapons and put it into practice. They have…

Attacks on journalists on the rise in Brazil

Anti-press violence rose nearly threefold in Brazil in 2013 as reporters covered massive street protests over substandard public services and endemic corruption, a broadcast media report said Monday. “This is one of the most violent years for the press in this country,” Daniel Slaviero, president of the Brazilian Association of…

Universities embracing role as ‘incubators’ for tech start-ups

Just before graduating from the University of Michigan, Calvin Schemanski began his start-up. With two classmates, he got free office space on campus and $7,500 in funding from the university’s student startup accelerator, TechArb. The project, a restaurant recommendation app called MyFab5 using a “favorites” formula, is now preparing a…

Taiwan vows to develop first vaccine against fatal H7N9 avian flu

Taiwan is scheduled to roll out its first vaccine against the H7N9 strain of avian flu in late 2014, after the island confirmed the first outbreak of the deadly virus earlier this year, researchers said Monday. Health authorities in Taiwan confirmed in April that a 53-year-old Taiwanese man, who had…

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