The time machine that doubles as a toilet.

News Archives - September 2005

: (Weather!) Part II

September 28 2005

Here is the second instalment of what I really hope will become a fairly consistent update here on Pants, the weekly Japanese weather translation. No one that I know has access to SBS Digital 2 so I feel it is my duty to reproduce a snippet of the NHK News 10 broadcast because there has to be at least one other person out there who appreciates this stuff like I do. Right...?

  • 1. Welcome
    As with every NHK News 10 broadcast, the main news anchor Hirokazu Sakamaki throws to a brief video montage before the weather presenters start their report.

    Today we see pictures of waves angrily crashing against rocks, very choppy seas etc... We also see several Japanese people securing their houses, hammering sheets of wood across their windows, perhaps in anticipation for a typhoon.

  • 2. I Think I'm Right
    The next thing we see is a series of things representing waves, rain and wind.

    We've got huge waves and a dangerous spinny-looking thing near the Tropic of Cancer. We also have a giant windsock and smaller, pointier waves close to southern Japan.

  • 3. Maybe Not...
    I've learnt that it's never a good idea to assume anything when watching a Japanese news broadcast. And you can tell that the people who actually work at NHK also expect anything to be thrown their way too...

    While most people would literally crap their pants upon hearing that China has been taken over by a chubby green sumo monster, our presenter keeps his cool and calmly alerts the viewers.

    No wonder people were barricading their homes!

  • 4. Business As Usual
    Even with the monster attacking China and slowly but surely leading the path of destruction towards Japan, the weather report must go on.

    Most reports are finished by the presenter giving the viewers ideas on what to do in the next few days... Today he suggests it's a nice time to take your family for a walk through autumn-coloured foliage, or maybe to stand really close to the sun by using an umbrella as protection.

    Perhaps he realises this may be the last chance you'll ever have to enjoy the great outdoors...

: (Weather!)

September 21 2005

For several months now I've been watching various Japanese news broadcasts on a fairly regular basis via SBS Digital 2. The Japanese newsfeeds come from the NHK network and although I don't speak the language, I find them informative and so endlessly interesting.

Being one of the very few TV shows I watch whenever it's on (Iron Chef & Media Watch being the only others), I've become quite familiar with the different news anchors from the four daily broadcasts but my favourite would have to be the team from NHK News 10. I've mentioned on Pants before the beautiful Yumiko Udo, who presents the sportsdesk (hai!) and co-anchors the main bulletin with the wise and respected Hirokazu Sakamaki, but one thing I haven't mentioned previously is the presentation of the weather report on the NHK News 10 broadcasts.

Every one or two weeks I hope to re-deliver and attempt to translate their weather reports here on Pants because it is quite unlike the weather forecasts we see here on Australian television.

  • 1. Welcome
    Leading into the weather from the newsdesk we see images of a large machine harvesting grain and odd-looking insects buzzing around and munching on some crops.

    Normally there would be a male and a female weather presenter here providing some chatter (no doubt relating to the introduction imagery shown behind them), but the woman has had the last few weeks off for some reason so the guy has a conversation with himself today.

  • 2. The Giant Blue Blob
    Getting straight into the weather, we see a giant (but fairly tame-looking) blue blob hovering over mainland Japan, but things take a turn for the worse when it moves north-east and begins to emit enormous lightning bolts from its eyes.

    Surprisingly the presenter didn't seem concerned about this, but that quite possibly was because he knew that the great lands of Japan would return to peace in a matter of moments...

  • 3. The Gigantic Nuclear Furnace
    Luckily for everyone, the presenter was correct.

    Out of nowhere, everyone's favourite mass of incandescent gas (the sun) appears and scares away the giant blue blob and the menacing lighting bolts it was emitting. What a relief!

    The presenter then reassures the viewers that the threat is gone and it's now safe to go hiking in the mountains, enthusiastically eat apples and/or take our fat children to sporting events.

  • 4. No, Really...
    I wasn't kidding about that last part. :)

: Whine & Dine

September 2 2005

Anyone who knows me at least half-decently would understand that I live my life based (quite consistently) around a series of basic principles. Examples of these ideologies would include:

  • I don't like people;
  • I don't like to go out much;
  • I don't like fish;
  • Infact I don't really like eating in general...

Why do I mention this?
Although one would think they should know better, someone thought it would be a great idea to invite me out to dinner with a bunch of people tonight. Dinner at a Japanese restaurant, that is...

Considering the bullet points above, it is with great hesitation that I say the night wasn't as bad as I expected it to be. There were all sorts of different things on offer where we went - different types of sushi obviously (norimaki and nigiri, pictured below), as well as octopus, tofu/beancurd salads, raw tuna/salmon/"chicken", gyoza (pork dumplings), Japanese omelettes and so on...

I maybe tried about half of the items on offer, and it all tasted fishy to my uncultured tongue. :)

To compete with this fishyness, I was left with an almost bitter taste in my mouth after realising the quite certain likelyhood that I'll be forced to do this again very soon. The reason being that this evening's guest of honour, a lovely and very pleasant Japanese lady, was not able to join us for the dinner as originally planned.

A second-attempt at getting the whole group together for dinner is inevitable thanks to some persistent social engineering (matchmaking) by one individual. Although I get so worked up about these events (minor as they are), a part of me thinks I should probably thank her for exploiting the fact I'm too courteous to say "leave me alone" to all these invitations.

Without her help (and you know who you are...), I would probably never leave the house. :)

There's more where that came from...: Return to the News Archives index.