Weight scales

PICTURE: i yunmai/Unsplash

A Chinese restaurant has apologised for offence caused when it placed scales at the entrance and suggested customers weigh themselves to help them in making a decision about deciding what to order. The Chuiyan Fried Beef restaurant in Changsa in Hunan province had reportedly placed the two scales and a guide recommending foods for men and women of various weights at the entrance, saying it had done so in response to President Xi Jinping's push for the country to reduce food waste. The move sparked accusations of fat shaming and led to the restaurant apologising, even while noting that the weighing in has always been voluntary. It intends keeping the scales in place but will make it clear diners are not required to use them.

No, it wasn't a dream - there really was "chocolate rain" in the Swiss town of Olten. Residents of the town reported snow-like cocoa powder in the air near the city's Lindt & Spruengl factory and the company confirmed this week that a ventilation system malfunction had led to the cocoa powder being dispersed in the air. Strong winds had exacerbated the situation, causing the powder to spread further. The company has reportedly said it will recompense people for any damage caused.

New public toilets have been unveiled in two Tokyo parks - but, rather unusually, they feature transparent walls. Part of an initiative being spear-headed by The Nippon Foundation's Tokyo Toilet Project, the toilet walls fortunately turn opaque when someone enters and locks the door. They were designed that way to address two of the big concerns people have when using public toilets - cleanliness and safety - with people able to see what's inside before they go in. "Japan is known as one of the cleanest countries in the world. Even public toilets have a higher standard of hygiene than in much of the rest of the world," says a statement on the project's website. "However, the use of public toilets in Japan is limited because of stereotypes that they are dark, dirty, smelly, and scary. To dispel these misconceptions regarding public toilets, The Nippon Foundation has decided to renovate 17 public toilets located in Shibuya, Tokyo, in cooperation with the Shibuya City government." New facilities, all of which are being designed by "leading creators" will be installed at 17 different locations in the Tokyo suburb of Shibuya as part of the project.