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posted on 1999-06-19 00:00 EDT
Pokémon plane to make US appearance, cause of seisures discovered

As further evidence of the ever-infectious Pokémon craze, the Pokémon jet will be making its way to San Francisco on July 3. AnimationArtist.com reports that All Nippon Airways' Boeing 747-400 Jumbo Jet painted like a giant Pikachu (which gives away special rare Pokémon stuff to every little kid lucky -- or spoiled -- enough to be a part of it) is the fourth plane from ANA (Japan's largest carrier) bearing Pokémon artwork. The plane will be en route to Tokyo, and will have its U.S. appearance on the 3rd, with special tours and give-aways starting at 9:40 AM. (The aircraft will return to Tokyo at 11:30 AM.)

In other Pokémon news, the infamous blinking effect that caused some children to experience epileptic seisures last year has been further investigated, and has revealed a new type of epilepsy. Science Daily Magazine reports that sudden color changes on television trigger the seisures, first discovered in 1992 when Nintendo was sued over the NES game "Kid Icarus" after a child suffered such symptoms. (Since then, all video games come with a warning.) The Pokémon incident was the first occurance on a mass scale, with an esitmated 685 people suffering from watching the show.

According to Japanese researchers, rapid changes between blue and red color values used in blinking effects seemed to cause the seisures. This is a new type of trigger, as it was previously only thought that epilepsy was affected by rapid light/dark changes. Those changes cause the brain to fire electrical impulses at a higher rate than normal, causing muscular convulsions, or loss of consciousness. A similar report last year by British scientists has now produced a new classification for this type of seisure, now known as "chromatic sensitive epilepsy."


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