I plugged in our "new" (new to me, rather old in age) rice cooker the other day and nearly jumped out of my skin when it spoke.
Hi, my name is April, and I hear voices.
But seriously, it really did speak. A robotic sounding woman said the Japanese equivalent of "Please set the clock before continuing." I spun it around and hey, there was a whole panel of buttons I didn't notice before and a VCR-esque blinking 00:00.
After setting the clock, then I had to figure out how to get it to cook rice. Since I grew up in Japan I can speak Japanese, but since I didn't formally study the language I can hardly read and write it. I knew the kanji for white rice, so I picked that. Then it seemed to want to set the timer. Handy feature I'm sure, but I wanted it to cook now. After some more button pressing and the robotic woman scolding me, I got it to turn on. Victory!
Another discovery I made is even more delightful. We had bought a few cartons of various juices to try (these are only a liter each). Today we finally got to grape, and I took a swig from my glass.
It tastes EXACTLY like grape flavored Jolly Ranchers!
Nothing like liquid candy in a glass for lunch to put a spring in your step. ;)