Japanese monks hit Twitter to protest driving ticket in the most brilliant way

When cops in Japan told a monk he shouldn’t drive a car wearing his traditional garb because his robe may affect his ability to handle the vehicle, an offbeat response by fellow monks went viral on social media.

The incident, which took place in Fukui about 180 miles west of Tokyo, resulted in the monk receiving a $50 fine for driving in robes that “could affect safety.” But when the monk community in Japan got wind of the news, it was having none of it.

Taking to Twitter with a hashtag that translates as, “I can do this in robes,” monks across the nation posted short videos of themselves performing a range of activities — from playing the drums and juggling to skipping on one leg — with their traditional garb clearly causing no hindrance.

One video showed a monk riding on an exercise bike without any difficulty, while another showed a monk performing multiple somersaults in the grounds of a temple, with his robe doing nothing to prevent him from landing perfectly on his feet.

One even showed off his skills with a lightsaber …

Fukui’s road traffic regulations ban motorists from driving a vehicle in clothing that may affect its safe operation, with the traffic cop deeming the long length of the robe, as well as the long sleeves, a hazard.

But local news media reported that the monk who received the ticket is refusing to pay the fine, as he claims his busy role performing multiple services each day means that he needs to stay in his robes as he travels between locations. He added that he’s been driving in the attire for the last 20 years and has never received a ticket in that time.

If he refuses to pay the penalty, officials could send the case to public prosecutors for an alleged violation of road traffic laws, which could result in a formal trial, the Daily Yomiuri reported.

But the man clearly has the backing of his fellow monks — as well as many on Twitter — and appears unwilling to back down, telling reporters: “I’d like to clearly state at a trial that I can drive safely in a monk robe.”

Gaming

Has it really been 17 years? The past, present, and future of the Xbox

From DirectX Box to 720, it's been a long, strange trip for Microsoft's Xbox gaming console. Here is what happened, from its odd beginnings to the rumored Scarlett console with streaming.
Movies & TV

First reactions say that Avengers: Endgame will make you laugh and cry

The events of Avengers: Infinity War changed the Marvel Cinematic Universe in some big ways and left fans wondering how its heroes can possibly recover. Here's everything we know about Avengers: Endgame, the sequel to Infinity War.
Movies & TV

'Prime'-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

There's more to Amazon Prime than free two-day shipping, including access to a number of phenomenal shows at no extra cost. To make the sifting easier, here are our favorite shows currently streaming on Amazon Prime.
Movies & TV

The best movies on Netflix in March, from Buster Scruggs to Roma

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.
Social Media

How to download Instagram Stories on iOS, Android, and desktop

Curious about how to save someone's Instagram Story to your phone? Lucky for you, it can be done -- but it does take a few extra steps. Here's what you need to know to save Instagram Stories on both iOS and Android.
Social Media

Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp went down worldwide for 2 hours this morning

Chaos erupted on the internet this morning, as Facebook, Instagram, and Whatsapp all went down from 6:30 a.m. to approximately 9 a.m. Thousands of users were unable to access the sites or send or receive Whatsapp messages.
Mobile

Skype screen sharing for mobile will let you share your swipes on dating apps

Skype is prepping the launch of screen sharing for mobile so you can share your swipes on dating apps, shop with buddies, or, perhaps, show a PowerPoint presentation to coworkers. It's in beta just now, but anyone can try it.
Social Media

Facebook toys with mixing Stories and News Feed into one swipeable carousel

Facebook's News Feed could look a lot like Stories if a prototype the social media giant is working on rolls out to users. The design change mixes Stories and News Feed posts into a full-screen slideshow that users swipe left to navigate.
Social Media

No more moon showers as Facebook Messenger’s dark mode gets official rollout

Facebook Messenger launched a dark mode last month, but to activate it you had to message the crescent moon to someone. Now it's been rolled out officially, and it can be accessed in a far more sensible way — via settings.
News

Twitter has revealed a launch date for its handy hide replies features

Twitter has revealed a launch date for a feature that lets users hide replies to their tweets. The hope is that it will help the original poster filter out offensive or irrelevant content from conversation threads.
Smart Home

Oh, Zuck, no! Facebook rumored to be creating a voice assistant to rival Alexa

Facebook hasn't been a big player in the smart speaker market, but that may be changing: The social media giant is reportedly working on a digital assistant to compete against Alexa and others.
Social Media

Facebook says it unintentionally uploaded email contacts of 1.5 million users

Facebook says that over the last two years it unintentionally uploaded the email contacts of 1.5 million users as they signed up to the social networking service. The process has ended and the email addresses are being deleted.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Facebook data security, Ubisoft helps Notre Dame, and more

Join DT Live as we discuss Facebook security issues, Ubisoft's plan to help rebuild Notre Dame, and more. We are also joined by Emily Teteut of Snap the Gap, Jennifer Sendrow of New York Public Radio, and DJ and producer Zeke Thomas.
Photography

After controversial video, China bans ‘Leica’ on social media

A video that referenced Tiananmen Square got the name of the camera company Leica banned from the social media platform Weibo. Leica says the video wasn't an officially sanctioned promotion.