Monthly Archives: August 2014

Fookooshimar TIME

There’s a new TIME article on Fukushima entitled The World’s Most Dangerous Room, containing a pull “quote” that I think will offend many people in the prefecture and beyond. First, the story’s lead picture of this “most dangerous” room has a new-looking notebook PC seemingly fixed in position, which would suggest to me that it can’t be that radioactive otherwise the PC would soon get fried, and if I remember correctly, the reactor control room is heavily shielded, so it is actually relatively safe, I think.

The latest plan by TEPCO, Japan’s largest power provider, is to build a wall of frozen earth around the damaged reactors and other highly radioactive areas to prevent radiation from seeping out of the site.

I thought the point of the ice wall was to prevent ground water entering; I suppose the ground water currently picks up radiation and some inevitably leaks out, but that is a side-effect; the wall is primarily for keeping water out, not in.

Fukushima was not just an epic natural disaster

*sigh* It was not the Fukushima earthquake, it was all of the north-east coast that suffered from the quake and subsequent tsunami.

Half-way down the page there is a bizarre photo of a topless women standing in a washing machine while washing her hair.

Many suicides aren’t reported by families who worry about being stigmatized, say local doctors, obscuring the real death toll.

Err, what? How does that work?

Now, the most offensive part of the article in huge lettering:

“[Fukushima] is finished. It’s only fit for ghosts.”
—TATSUKO SHIGA, 77, A FORMER RESIDENT OF THE FUKUSHIMA AREA

Note the square brackets – the actual comment from a former resident of Futuba in the article is:

Still, Shiga has no wish to return to her farmhouse, one of the few in her community to have escaped the tsunami’s wrath. “That place is finished,” she says. “It’s only fit for ghosts.”

“That place” is either her house or her community, not the amorphous “Fukushima”.

I wanted to log in to post a comment to this effect, but the comment system won’t let me.

More dodgy science and dodgier Kyodo reporting

Japan Times reprinted a useless Kyodo press release bordering on Fookooshimar. Paragraph two starts:

One of the experts, Timothy Mousseau …

I think I can stop here. The article is here, but I don’t know what is the difference between a full article and a “symposium article” as this is entitled.

There’s also an interesting article on the Pale Grass Blue Butterfly – well, what is more interesting is this criticism – where in a sub-section entitled “Science and Politics” the author rails against the apologists:

The Nature News article (Callaway 2013) may be wrongly interpreted to imply that we (scientists who study this topic seriously) are mad scientists who do not care about people living in the Fukushima area (Steen and Wayne 2013), partly because our data may “scare people” there.

I cannot access the referenced articles, but that smells of a straw man!

It’s that time of the month again

More musing on the psychological state of Japan. I wonder how long it will take for the comments to go down the drain? Anyway, as usual one can play the game of replacing “Japan” with “I”, especially with his closing statement:

Like the abused who becomes the abuser, Japanese society is simply too psychologically damaged by RD [racial discrimination] to stop its RD.

It works for me here too. Furthermore, it we accept what he writes as true, how does he suggest it gets fixed? Does he think it is fixable? I’ve posted to that effect in this JT comments.

 UPDATE: First time through the story I missed the earlier part of the paragraph:

Until Japan gets over itself and accepts that racialization processes are intrinsic to every society, it will never resolve its constant and unwarranted exceptionalism.

However, I’m not quite sure how exactly Japan is supposed to “get over itself”; the AA 12 Step process (see the JT comments thread – I’ve stop responding so as not to bore everyone to death) initially required an outside actor, God or religion, and further requires an experienced reformed alcoholic to help out, and the only “cure” is zero tolerance. I think many of these factors are difficult to apply to a society or a country.