Hello Kitty Exhibit to Open in L.A.

Everything from original art to the body massager that looks like a vibrator

Hello Kitty lovers, grab a writing implement from your Hello Kitty pencil case, and mark your calendars. The first large-scale exhibition of objects from the Sanrio archives and original art inspired by the iconic character opens Oct. 11 at the Japanese American National Museum (JANM) in Los Angeles. The show, pegged to the 40th anniversary of the brand, will run through April 26, 2015.

The art on display ranges from a sculpture of the character covered in desserts, illustrating her reputation for being sweet, to “Kittypatra,” a sculpture of Hello Kitty as Cleopatra that’s reminiscent of cats’ religious significance in ancient Egypt (but, remember, she’s a girl, not a cat). Jamie Rivadeneira, one of the exhibit’s curators and owner of Japan LA, a boutique that sells Japanese pop culture merchandise, argues there are endless ways for artists to depict Hello Kitty because “she’s a blank canvas. She doesn’t have a mouth, so she can be whatever you want her to be.”

Pop culture fans will recognize Katy Perry’s Hello Kitty-inspired corset, Lady Gaga’s dress made out of Hello Kitty plush dolls and a skirt decorated with Hello Kitty lunch boxes featured on America’s Next Top Model. Other unusual objects on display include Hello Kitty motor oil, Hello Kitty toilet paper and the infamous Hello Kitty body “massager,” which went viral on the Internet because many people thought Sanrio had released a vibrator.

Christine Yano, an anthropologist and one of the exhibit’s curators, describes the massager controversy and other unexpected appropriations of the cutesy character on display as the kind of “OMG moments” that have made the brand last for 40 years: “It became a sensation. Even if there might be some controversy, that’s more people paying attention and maybe more people buying the product.”


TIME Bizarre

Restaurant Menu Has No Prices So Customers Pay What God Tells Them to Pay

"Revenues are up," says the owner

A North Carolina restaurant has announced it’s putting the business in the hands of God and letting customers pay what they want for their meals.

According to a Sept. 29 post on the Facebook page for the restaurant Just Cookin in Dallas, North Carolina:

I am putting my “FAITH” where my CASH REGISTER is.

I am letting go and letting GOD!!

No prices….No totals…..You pay what you think your meal is worth!!!

“I gave Him control of the cash register,” Dana Parris told the Gaston Gazette. “There’s been a few people who got to eat who didn’t have the money. And there’s been a lot of people who have overpaid what the normal price would be. We’ve been blessed. Revenues are up.”

This unique policy is a complete 180º from the restaurant customers who claim their faith forbids them from paying for their entire meals because the servers’ lifestyles go against their religion. Also worth noting: the “pay what you wish” concept, most often associated with museums, does exist at some eateries. Panera has been running pay-what-you-wish restaurants across the U.S. for the past four years, so the neediest people can get something to eat and even volunteer to work there as payment.

TIME viral

Couple Makes Pregnancy Announcement Into the Perfect Wes Anderson Parody

This new saga, if you will, debuts Spring 2015

If you are a fan of films by director Wes Anderson, and babies, then this video will be relevant to all of your interests.

In a birth announcement that is a spot-on parody of the quirky films, “The Pretentious Presentation of The Uterine Inhabitant” stars YouTube user Jacqueline Shu, her husband Ben Snyder, and the family dog Sir William. This new saga, if you will, debuts Spring 2015.

The creative clip is the latest example of how viral videos have become the new birth announcements, after a timelapse video of a mother’s stomach growing before giving birth made the rounds on the Internet earlier this week.

MORE: This Timelapse Pregnancy Video Is the Best Birth Announcement

MORE: If Wes Anderson Directed Forrest Gump, Here’s What You’d Get

MORE: Listen to Juliana Hatfield Cover Elliott Smith for a Wes Anderson Tribute Compilation

TIME viral

Watch an Army Vet Throw a First Pitch Like a Grenade

Before the San Francisco Giants played the Washington Nationals in Game 2 of the National League Division Series

The San Francisco Giants may have defeated the Washington Nationals, advancing to the National League Championship Series against the St. Louis Cardinals, but a veteran’s unique ceremonial first pitch in Game 2 of the National League Division Series may one of the most memorable moments of the series.

During the Oct. 4 game at Nationals Park, retired Army sergeant Brian Keaton crawled on his belly up the side of the mound and then threw the baseball as if he was tossing a grenade. This MLB video has racked up more than 1.1 million views so far. Action starts around the 1:05 mark.

WATCH: A Look Inside the Home That Made “Life Easier” for a Marine Veteran Who Lost All His Limbs

TIME Internet

Type ‘Happy Birthday’ and Your Name Into YouTube Right Now and Something Magical Might Happen

YouTube trick of the day

You know when Facebook says it’s a close friend or family member’s birthday, and you want to share something unique and personal on his or her wall other than “happy birthday”?

Well, earlier today, Reddit user elgeo12345 pointed out that when you type “happy birthday” and a first name into YouTube’s search bar, a personalized video from “EpicHappyBirthdays” will usually pop up. It’s so terrifying and weird that you will probably burst out laughing. Here’s mine:

The minute-long videos all seem to start out the same way, with pictures of kids’ birthday parties flashing on screen until a creepy clown face pops up — perhaps to remind you that childhood is dead (as if we needed a reminder). Dinosaurs holding wrapped gifts will make you feel old as cakes drop from the sky, then catch fire. Sheep scream, turtles do gymnastics, dogs eat cake, all before bursting into flames. Why is everything on fire? Is it a message about rebirth? Starting the year anew? We’ll probably never know.

It looks like the channel, which joined YouTube in June of 2013, and boasts over a million views, has been adding videos of names in alphabetical order over the last month, after having stopped on August 20, 2013. So look up the names of friends and family members with a weird sense of humor, and try it on them.

MORE: Hidden Google: 10 Fun Search Tricks

MORE: The First YouTube Video Was Uploaded 9 Years Ago Today


TIME society

Capitals Forward Alexander Ovechkin Goes on Sushi Date with 10-Year-Old Fan

Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post—Getty Images

She has a huge crush on him

A 10-year-old fan got to go on a surprise date with Alexander Ovechkin, Washington Capitals forward and the man of her dreams, after the Oct. 5 game against the Carolina Hurricanes.

The Washington Post reports the youngster from Laurel Md., Ann Schaab, has Down syndrome and met the hockey star at an event where she was playing with the Washington Ice Dogs, an ice hockey team for people with developmental disabilities. She asked him out to eat sushi and play kickball.

Then she was invited to a morning skate and to take a tour of the practice facility. When Schaab and her family went into the locker room, Ovechkin appeared. Dressed in a suit and carrying roses, he handed the girl three tickets to the game, and afterward, they headed to the owner’s lounge for a sushi dinner. Romantic, right?


TIME society

5-Year-Old Becomes the NBA’s Most Adorable New Player for a Day

Signed by the Utah Jazz

A young basketball fan has scored a chance to play with the Utah Jazz.

JP Gibson, a five-year-old who was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in 2012, signed a one-day contract with the NBA team. He donned a jersey and played in the opening scrimmage at the Oct. 6 game in Salt Lake City.

The special day was organized by the “Anything Can Be” project, part of the Millie’s Princess Foundation, which provides financial support to families of children with cancer.

WATCH: Taylor Swift Sings, Dances and Plays Air Hockey With a Young Cancer Patient

WATCH: The Trailer for the Batkid Documentary Will Make You Cry


TIME viral

Watch Every Simpsons Couch Gag at the Same Time in One Video

We can picture Homer Simpson shouting "Woo hoo!"

Great news for people who never want to miss an intro of The Simpsons. This minute-long clip shows the famous couch gag from the cartoon’s opener in 554 episodes playing at the same time. YouTube user Omni Verse says there are many repeats, and that other parts of the intro are included to account for episodes that don’t feature the famous scene. At first glance, you might feel like your eyes are glazing over, but it gets much easier to watch as the clips gradually start to end.

MORE: Simpsons Watch: Heaven, I’m in Jewish Heaven

MORE: Hello, Simpsons World. Goodbye, the Rest of Your Life

MORE: The Simpsons Kills Off Krusty’s Dad in Season Premiere

TIME Bizarre

Man Willing to Swap Detroit Home for an iPhone 6

Apple iPhone 6/6 Plus Launch in Japan
A customer looks at the new iPhone 6 Plus at the launch of the new Apple iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 plus at the Apple store on Sept. 19, 2014 in Tokyo. Chris McGrath—Getty Images

Realtor tells local news he may want an iPhone Plus, but that's negotiable

A Detroit man who is having trouble selling his home is reportedly willing to trade it in for an iPhone 6 or a 32GB iPad, according to his realtor, FOX 2 reports.

“It’s a real listing,” realtor Larry Else tells FOX 2, as the theme to The Price Is Right plays in the background. “It sounds like he wants the premium version [iPhone 6 Plus], but I’m sure that he’s willing to negotiate.”

If prospective homeowners don’t have an iPhone 6, they can pay $3,000 for the three-bedroom, one-and-a-half bath — down from $5,000 when it was listed for sale in June, according to Zillow.com. The investigative news website Motor City Muckraker reports Wayne County records show the owner still owes more than $6,000 in property taxes.

Here is the full FOX 2 segment:


TIME celebrity

Watch Colbie Caillat Sing ‘Smelly Cat’ from Friends at Central Perk

A promo for the hit sitcom's 20th anniversary

Music star Colbie Caillat serenaded Friends fans with her rendition of “Smelly Cat,” originally sung by Lisa Kudrow’s character on the show, over the weekend at Central Perk, a pop-up coffee shop in New York City set up as a promotion for the sitcom’s 20th anniversary.

Here is the original for comparison:

MORE: 20 Years Later: Which Friends Cast Members Came Out on Top?

MORE: Central Perk From Friends Is Now a Real Place, and Gunther Is There

LIST: 10 Ways Friends Gave You Unrealistic Expectations for Your Twenties

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