The site over at translation party is designed to show how machine translation still has a way to go. It shows how, when you translate into from either Japanese or English into the other language, and back again, there are still differences. It continues until there are no differences, and calls that “equilibrium”. The final version it reaches is sometimes very different from the original. You could play games by trying to find sentences that are the most different, or sentences that require the most steps (translations) to reach equilibrium. A good time-waster for translators or language students.
Ken, over at What Japan Thinks, is doing a great job of deciphering polls and consumer studies in Japan. Today he looks at what people regret telling lies about. First comes Rich, then comes being able to speak English. Be careful about stretching the truth. It can get you in trouble.
Icons in your email, or SMS, or mobile mail, can indicate your emotions much more quickly than words. With programmable phones these days, you can set longer ones to memory and recall them with a few keystrokes. Here is a bunch of these emoticons, or kao-mohi (face-icons) with a quick English translation. These are not necessarily popular right now, but you can vote on them (thus tne name eVOTicon).