By the Writer

The Mail Online Channels Uncle John

The British Mail Online news service has a story this morning on a peculiar piece of clothing created by a Japanese designer. We just happened to have written a bit about that odd bit of attire in our just-released Uncle John’s World’s Gone Crazy Bathroom Reader:

THE VENDING MACHINE SKIRT

Let’s say you’re walking down the sidewalk dressed in an ordinary skirt and—Here come the bad guys! And they’re chasing you! Run! Hide! Too bad you weren’t wearing this special piece of clothing: The Vending Machine Skirt, by Tokyo designer Aya Tsukiokais. It looks like a normal skirt, but, when you need to become invisible, it quickly unfolds to become a large, rectangular piece of cloth that looks just like a soda vending machine. Just hold it in front of you and hide behind it, so the idea goes, and you’ll blend into the scenery. “Vending machines are on every corner of Japanese streets, and we take it for granted,” says Aya. “That’s how I came up with the idea for this dress.”

And now, because you deserve it, a video demonstration of the Vending Machine Skirt by Ms. Tsukiokais, with a bonus demonstration of her Manhole Cover Purse:

Asteroid Sample Coming to Earth in June

Here’s a fascinating story we haven’t heard a word about from one of our favorite science blogs, Phil Plait’s Bad Astronomy:

The Japanese mission Hayabusa (“Falcon”) has been nothing if not ambitious. Launched in 2004, it reached the bizarre asteroid Itokawa a little over a year later. It took phenomenal images and other measurements, and even landed on the asteroid itself to take samples, destined to be returned to Earth.

But it has suffered a series of crippling mishaps that have threatened the mission time and again with failure. However, despite all that, the end game is in sight: Hayabusa is almost back home, and on June 13, sometime around 14:00 UT, the sample recovery capsule will parachute down to the Earth.