Simian Substitute Site for March 2011: Monkey Truck

jPod For Japan

Japan Meteorological Agency's map of the quake as it happened: note colour coding of intensity. Click through for more details. Over the years, there's been a lot of love for Japan on this site: its films, its music, its food, its geography. So, obviously, The Belated Birthday Girl and I were appalled by the news of the east coast earthquake and subsequent tsunami last Friday. Watching the English-language coverage on NHK World, or the slightly more seat-of-the-pants Japanese reporting on domestic NHK, it's hard for the mind to grasp the sheer scale of the destruction that's occurred.

The buzz hashtag on Twitter over the past few days has been #prayforjapan. I think my opinion on that is closer to the one expressed by @DaftLimmy: "praying after a natural disaster is like thanking Rod Hull for keeping that Emu under control." What they really need right now is people on the ground helping those that are trapped, and kickstarting the massive effort of rebuilding towns and villages. The general opinion appears to be that the Red Cross are best equipped to help out, so both The BBG and I have donated money to them, and we think it'd be nice if you did the same.

People tend to expect some sort of entertainment in exchange for their charity these days, so here's my offering. Available publicly for the first time, it's my jPod video playlist, originally constructed to back up my article about the state of Japanese pop music as of 2008. Maybe one of these days I'll write an update to that, but for now you've got two and a quarter hours of fine tunes that you probably haven't heard before. Enjoy, and then please donate. Thank you.


British Red Cross Japan Tsunami Appeal



Here's another video for you: a video wall showing how all six of Tokyo's main TV channels reacted to the quake, sorted by speed of response.

And here's another one, acknowledging the regrettable fact that when I originally wrote the above piece, the nuclear danger wasn't quite as dramatic as it is currently. Still, this video is an attempt to allay people's fears, using the easy-to-grasp metaphors of poos and blowing off.

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