“Information addicts” are driving the popularity of sites like boingboing, digg and laughingsquid to ridiculous levels. These link-based mass-blogs are perpetually updated with random pages that have something interesting going on. Pinktentacle is the natural offspring of such sites. No doubt drawing its name from some scary Hentai-inspired fantasy, pinktentacle is a link-blog dedicated to Japanese culture. While the layout of the page unfortunately falls under the typical dull, text-heavy, blog style, the links are fascinating and strange. Obviously playing off the west’s insatiable fascination with the Japanese world, the links usually focus on some particularly strange piece of technology or pop-culture (of course, the two are usually inseparable in this Japanese context).
For example, a device which uses waves (as in water waves, literally) to “print” on water surfaces initially caught my attention. What follows are stories about underwater mailboxes (in perfect use), unusual pharmaceutical pictograms and the plans to create a giant interactive robotic squid. And it keeps getting stranger from there. But that’s the angle. Viewed through Lost-In-Translation eyes, each piece becomes more interesting because of the natural “WTF?” response. The site is also broken down into a variety of categories, with no particular order or theme. I was able to filter through the articles to find “food/drink” related links — and was immediately confronted by a mutant tomato harvested in Kyoto which frighteningly resembled a face (think of a Chinese icon mask or Barbara’s pulled face from Beetlejuice). As I scrolled down the page I was relieved to discover that not all Japanese produce resembles disfigured faces — some have been blessed like the Marilyn Monroe shaped daikon radish of Wakayama! (James King).