Tag Archives: Japan

And Then A Hero Comes Along…250 Heroes, To Be Precise

2 Jun
Trinity explosion - July 1945

Image by The Official CTBTO Photostream via Flickr

I read the following story over on Cubik’s Rube.  He and I agree on very little – so little, in fact, that he hardly ever bothers to answer my rare comments on his posts.  I assume he feels, like I do, that we’d both be wasting our time.  But this case is different: we both agree that Japan’s senior citizens are incredible.

A group called the Skilled Veterans Corps are working to fix the problems at Fukushima.  From CNN:

…three retirees sit in a cramped room, hunched over their computers and mobile phones. They look like the planning committee for a neighborhood senior breakfast, not the leaders of a 250-member team attempting to defuse one of the worst nuclear meltdowns in history.

But that’s exactly what 72-year-old Yasuteru Yamada hopes his seniors group, the Skilled Veterans Corps, will do: help end the crisis at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

The group, consisting only of retirees age 60 and up, says it is uniquely poised to work at the radiation-contaminated plant, as the cells of an older person’s body divide more slowly than a younger individual.

This post is short because there are no words to express how much admiration I feel at their selflessness.

Under No Illusion

20 Mar
Two maiko performing in Gion.

Image via Wikipedia

Viewfromtheside’s Blog prompt: illusion.

I have always liked the Japanese as a race and culture and however else we habitually judge unfamiliar societies.  But their dignity in the face of one disaster after another this past week has left me full of admiration as well.  In almost any other country in the world, including my own, by now there would be looting and violence and protests.  Yet all we see on the news are polite bows as a soldier helps an elderly woman discover the body of her dead mother; lengthy queues outside food shops; people willingly taking on dangerous jobs for the greater good; decorum at every turn.  The agony these poor people are going through is etched in their faces, but not their behaviour.

I have always believed that civilisation is just an illusion and if we scratch the surface with even a minor disaster, savagery and selfishness will erupt.  I have never been more glad to be proved wrong.

Good News, Sort Of

14 Mar

You’ve probably seen this but it’s such an amazing story I wanted to share it anyway.  A sixty-year old man was found nine miles out to sea, floating on his own roof.  Sadly, his wife died.

There are always incredible stories of survival after a disaster, but this is the most astonishing I’ve ever heard.  I only wish there were more.

I’m Moving To Japan

4 Nov

The jobs are much better there: according to the Johannesburg Star, Domino’s Pizza are offering a $31 thousand job – for just ONE hour of work.

My own job hunt can be classed as a waste of my time/disaster/providing employers with the giggle of the day.  Lucky I have my writing to fall back on.  Oh.  Um….

Spud seems to have similar working hours to the Japanese – he went back to school on Monday after a two week half-term break (when all the other schools got only one week), and he’s off tomorrow because of an inset day, giving him a three-day weekend.  Good job he has three hours of homework a night or he’ll never pass his GCSEs.


Don’t forget to check out my new blog http://sapoems.wordpress.com/.  Go on; do it now.  You know I’m going to keep nagging until you do.

PS3d Off

2 Mar

Spud Bud is rather annoyed.  He got in from school last night, overjoyed because he had no homework for the first time in three years and could dedicate the whole of his evening to the Playstation. 


There’s a glitch in the system, apparently, rather like the Millennium Bug i.e. something to do with the date, and if you turn it on to use it, it explodes and gives you measles and you die of gangrene.  That was how it sounded when Spud was raging about it, anyway.  How can I live without my PS3?  No aliens to massacre; no World Cup to win without one united player in the squad; no car chases knocking down innocent pensioners who happen to get in the way?  When I suggested he do something radical like read a book, I suddenly knew how scared those aliens must feel when he notices them.

I’m sure the bug is not as life-threatening as he thinks it is; people survived without electricity and modern medicine long enough for somebody to invent them, so I imagine they can get by without their PS3s for a while.  (I had to whisper that last sentence so he didn’t burn me for heresy).   Sony can’t afford to upset millions of players around the world.  If they all react like Spud, and I bet they do because, like my son, they’re all geeks with no life, then there’s going to be a lot of angry gamers gathering and fomenting outside Sony headquarters.  Which is in Japan, by the way.  Here’s the address according to their website, in case you want to protest in person: 1-7-1 Konan, Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-0075, Japan.  I quite like the idea of starting a global riot; I’ve always been interested in Chaos Theory: a housewife flaps her wings in England and a giant corporation Novocaines a generation in Japan.  Or did it happen the other way around?

I wasn’t going to use the phrase ‘PS3 Bug’ because I didn’t want hordes of mega-nerds finding their way to my blog in their quest for Sony answers and becoming enraged that I don’t have it and wiping me off the face of the blogosphere with their uncanny technical super powers.  But if I’m going to start a mass movement, I think I’ll have to.  PS3 Bug.

An interesting aside: a thesaurus.com definition:  a geek is any smart person with an obsessive interest, a nerd is the same but also lacks social grace, and a dweeb is a mega-nerd

An uninteresting aside: it still bugs me that the Millennium was celebrated at the end of 1999.  A millennium is a thousand years and two millenniums are two thousand years, not one thousand, nine hundred and ninety-nine years.   Buy a calendar, people!

When I told Spud about the Millennium Bug and how everyone was Y2Krazy and that terrified world citizens stockpiled tinned goods and moved to the wilds of Scotland in case aeroplanes fell out of the sky and fridges crashed, he was at first amused but then began to see the attraction.  Once Sony sorts the problem, he’s taking his PS3 and the contents of my larder, and moving to Glasgow.

%d bloggers like this: