www.sciam.com/2001/0801issue/0801scicit4.html Back in 1995, the domestic electronics and telecom industries were about to unleash the Pride of Japan on the world: PHS. Ooops. We just went with full cellular handsets instead. A few months later, a big consortium was telling us we wouldn’t be able to take vacations without APS cameras and film. We went digital. A couple years ago Apple’s Steve Jobs began telling us the Next Big Thing was gonna be desktop movie making. Nope. We wanted Napster. Now the telecoms are back — fully aware of the Internet — telling us we can’t wait to connect via 3G. This Scientific American article has an idea of how we’re gonna dis the progenetors of globalization in the latest round.

This is no more than an ad. But you’ll never stare at your monitor harder while watching the computer-generated characters and images in this Quicktime trailer for “Final Fantasy.” Really cool stuff.

www.brat-net.com/index2.html Ever notice that Japanese characters (think Hello Kitty) don’t have mouths? These are branding tools. They’re licensed mouthpieces for companies that are apparently too big to come up with their own slogans. And it’s a rule: THEY CAN’T HAVE MOUTHS! Until now. Here comes Brat, and he doesn’t wanna be cuddly.

www.bodybuilding.com/ There are laws in Japan that corporations must follow. Which is why it’s impossible to find a decent multivitamin or a good, effective protein powder in Tokyo. And the Internet isn’t always a help. Too many sites refuse to ship to Japan. Bodybuilding.com isn’t among them. What’s more, it’s shelves are stacked with astonishingly low-priced supplements like Universal AnimalPak for about 60 yen a day, which saved the Spudster from forking out 600 yen for a daily dose of what passes for high-octane domestic multis. Fast shipping,too.