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Logan Paul’s Suicide Forest Video Paints American Tourists as Jackasses

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The famous YouTube vlogger Logan Paul (I honestly never heard of him before now) recently made headlines for posting a video where he reacts to finding a dead body in the Aokigahara forest, a forest at the base of Mount Fuji that has earned the nickname “the suicide forest.” Paul’s actions may have tarnished Japanese/American relations.

For a bit of context, Logan Paul visited (and as far as I can tell, is still visiting) Japan shortly before the end of 2017 and created a series of vlogs doing whatever the heck he wants. Play fighting with a friend in the middle of a busy street? Yep. Dressing up in a kimono and bamboo hat while dancing and acting like a racist caricature? Yep again. Hitching rides (without permission) on trucks and making a fool of himself at Shinto shrines? Yep. Basically, Paul does everything in his power to come across as a clown and, for lack of a better term, a jerk. But, then he decided to record his jaunt into Aokigahara forest, at which point he found a dead body and recorded his reactions. There’s being culturally tone deaf, and then there’s being cruel and insensitive. Paul’s video is both.

While Paul’s original video has been taken down, JhbTeam was kind enough to post a recap of the video, which is full of Paul smiling and treating the whole situation as a joke.

https://twitter.com/JhbTeam/status/948003235310157824

Paul’s reactions are reminiscent of PewDiePie, except instead of intentionally overreacting to a video game where everything is fake and nobody can get hurt, Paul laughs at a real hanging corpse. As you might imagine, the Internet’s reaction was swift and unsympathetic. Many called him out on his insensitive behavior, including famed YouTuber Michael Sundman, aka. Gaijin Goombah.

For those of you who don’t know, Michael Sundman has spent the past several years as a member of the YouTube channel The Game Theorists alongside channel founder Matthew Patrick/MatPat. Sundman specializes in breaking down allusions and references to various cultures in video games, especially Japanese culture, not because he is a “weeaboo,” but because he spent several years as an English teacher in Japan. During his time there, Sundman learned about and gained a lot of respect for Japanese culture, especially cultural norms, one of which is privacy. The Japanese take privacy far more seriously than even American citizens. In his video, Sundman mentions anecdotal experiences where he wasn’t allowed to record himself playing Japanese arcade games due to Japanese privacy laws and how a friend who took a picture of the famous Shibuya Crossing that just so happened to include a man cheating on his wife was sued. And lost. If a photograph that is innocuous to Americans elicits the desire to pursue legal action, it doesn’t take much to imagine how poorly the Japanese public will react to a video of people essentially laughing at someone who committed suicide.

While Logan Paul has released an apology for his actions, the damage has already been done. Apparently he was treading on thin ice before the Aokigahara forest video, but his actions in the forest are beyond disrespectful in any culture. The six-million plus views only make the situation worse, as they will no doubt color how the Japanese view Americans. Sundman postfaces his video with a statement that Logan stands a good chance of being banned from Japan, which seems like a very likely possibility.

All you have to do to get my attention is talk about video games, technology, anime, and/or Dungeons & Dragons - also people in spandex fighting rubber suited monsters.

Gaming

“Really pleased” with Sea of Thieves PS5 sales, Microsoft

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After the recent port to PS5, Microsoft is “really pleased” with the overall sales and performance of Sea of Thieves. As a result, more people are playing the Xbox and PC versions as well. Matt Booty, president of game content and studios at Microsoft Gaming, said this:. He also said that the success of the series means it can grow and that more money should be spent on a Variety podcast interview.

Microsoft is bringing four games that used to only be available on Xbox to other systems. Sea of Thieves was the last of these games to come out. The others are Pentiment, Grounded, and Hi-Fi Rush. Even though things have been going well lately, Booty says that more ports will be dealt with “case-by-case.”

News spread before the port came out that Sea of Thieves was being used as a “key test” to see if more Xbox-only games would be ported to PS5, PS4, and Xbox One. In May 2024, the game was the best-selling PS Store game in both Europe and the US. It also did well in the weekly sales charts.

Aside from the four games that have already been ported to Xbox, nothing else has been officially confirmed. However, news reports say that a lot of exclusive games may be about to come to other platforms. Some say that PS5 games like Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II, Starfield, and a rumored remaster of Halo: Combat Evolved are all being thought about.

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Gaming

The new game from Danganronpa’s developers is being published by Aniplex, a Sony company, but it won’t be coming out on PS5

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The upcoming game from the creators of the Danganronpa series has found a publisher in Sony subsidiary Aniplex. However, it’s worth noting that it won’t be initially released on the PS5. It is highly likely that The Hundred Line: Last Defense Academy will be released on Sony’s system at a later date, just like Master Detective Archives: Rain Code in October. However, the development team is currently focusing on prioritizing the release of their latest title on the Nintendo Switch and PC.

Described as a strategy game, the title allows players to step into the shoes of teenager Takumi Sumino, who resides in the perpetually secure Tokyo Residential Complex. When monsters suddenly unleash chaos upon the town, Takumi finds himself thrust into the Last Defense Academy. His mission? To protect the school alongside 14 other students for a grueling 100 days.

As one would anticipate, alongside the strategic gameplay, it is crucial to foster strong relationships with your comrades. Moreover, the outcome of the game can vary greatly, with a staggering 100 possible endings contingent upon the choices you make. We will reach out to Aniplex to inquire about the possibility of a PS5 port. However, it is important to note that Aniplex operates independently from PlayStation, as it falls under the Sony Music umbrella.

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Geek Culture

NASA’s cool new laser system is being used to send astronauts videos of their pets

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To send and receive messages to and from the International Space Station (ISS), NASA has built the first end-to-end wired system that works both ways. With its 1.2 gigabits per second speed, which is faster than your home internet, it sent pictures and videos of cats, dogs, and even the occasional parrot to the astronauts who are currently on the station.

Space communication is slow for more than just the reason that light moves so slowly. It took over a year to send a few days’ worth of observations from missions like New Horizon, which was the first mission to Pluto. It will be possible for future missions to carry more instruments with better resolution, but that won’t help much if we can’t get the data back to Earth.

Lasers can make the speed at which data is sent much faster. A mission called Psyche is going to look into the metal-rich asteroid with the same name. It has an infrared laser system on board called Deep Space Optical Communications (DSOC). Last year, it was shown off from 40 million kilometers away, which is 16 million kilometers (10 million miles).

It took DSOC an extra month and 3 million kilometers to get to the important stuff. Of course, Psyche sent a video of Taters, a cat, chasing a laser dot.

But this only went one way. The video was put on Psyche before it opened. At the moment, there is no quick way to send that much data to a spacecraft so far away.

But the ISS is not like that. The mission operations center in Las Cruces, New Mexico, sent data to ground stations from Texas to Hawaii. The first set of data included pictures and videos of the staff’s pets. At these points, it was changed into infrared laser signals and sent into space.

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As you might expect, the signals weren’t sent straight to the ISS. Instead, they were sent to satellites in geosynchronous orbits 22,000 miles above Earth. From there, everything was sent to a receiver that was temporarily attached to the outside of the ISS. All of those valuable bits were sent back to Earth, showing that the system works both ways.

We are used to information traveling at the speed of light, so this may not seem very impressive, but it was very hard to do technically. Radio waves can only carry so much data at a time. Infrared lasers can carry more data, but delays can cause important data to be lost over these distances, let alone the ones NASA wants to use these systems for in the future. A new “store-and-forward” process was put to the test during the demonstration. This process checks the quality of data and either sends it right away or stores it for later use.

A High-Rate Delay Tolerant Networking (HDTN) system was created so that this could happen four times faster than it could before. Astronauts on the Artemis Mission will need improvements like these so they can connect to the Internet instead of sending their videos in grainy black-and-white like Apollo astronauts did.

NASA’s Kevin Coggins said in a statement, “Not only did they show how these technologies can be an important part of NASA’s future science and exploration missions, but it was also fun for the teams to “imagine” their pets helping with this innovative demonstration.”

We commend NASA for the technology and the things they sent, but we can’t help but feel like they missed a chance. These pets belonged to astronauts Randy Bresnik, Christina Koch, and Kjell Lindgren, as well as to people who work for NASA but have never been to space. We especially like Astrid the Beagle because the breed is linked to scientific progress.

Still, none of these astronauts are on board right now. The current crew must miss their own pets and would have liked a video from whoever is taking care of them. Next, astronauts will face-time with their excited dogs (the cats won’t mind).

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