As a lifelong 98-pound weakling, team captains had good reason to choose me last when it came to athletic contests, but at the Sony ExploraScience museum, I finally found my sport: Smile Fighting!
Yes, they have a piece of technological wizardry that actually analyzes your beaming face and gives you a score! After extensive experimentation, my friend and I concluded that showing your pearly whites was key, as was eye crinkliness and grin wideness.
You can play against a real live friend or a random photo chosen by the computer. Both of you smile into the camera, then the rating begins. Shown as both a number and a graph, it’s obvious who gets the trophy, because the loser’s photo topples backward in defeat!
Every day, all the smile warriors’ photos are ranked against each other and displayed on a screen as you leave the museum. I made the mistake of going with a friend who’s a champion smiler, so she edged me out, but I’m totally going into training! Next time, it’s make the top row or die smiling.
Read a novel set in Tokyo
Writing mystery books set in Tokyo is mostly what I do, but I also blog about the odd stuff I see every day in Japan. I'm a graduate of Stanford University and the Sendagaya Japanese Institute in Tokyo, and a member of the International Thriller Writers, the Mystery Writers of America, and Sisters In Crime. When I'm not in Tokyo, I live in San Francisco. I also host a travel site called The Tokyo Guide I Wish I'd Had, so if you're headed to Japan and want to check out the places I take my friends when they're in town, take a look!