See, here they are, heads bowed to receive the blow.

Mobile earthquake-preparedness demo in Tokyo

Well, not really. In fact it’s a mobile earthquake-preparedness thing. Volunteers from the audience get in the truck and it simulates an earthquake. The lights on the back of the little room light up as the shaking builds: three, then four, then building up and peaking somewhere over seven. You see, theory says you’re supposed to get under a table or something, as that pair were doing. Here’s another:

Mobile earthquake-preparedness demo in Tokyo

In fact, a few heroes from the audience refused to hunker and tried to ride it out. Most of them gave up when the needle was pushing seven, but this one guy, tall and skinny in a bad blue suit, just wasn’t gonna cave in, and while he looked pretty dorky thrashing back and forth, he did manage to stay on his feet. Me, when the Big One hits I’m diving under the nearest desk.

Ochanomizu · That’s both the JR Station this is just outside and the pretty cool neighborhood it’s in. Last year’s RubyKaigi was around here.

Anyhow, I overestimated the transit time and got to the station quite a bit early, so I had time to watch the earthquake truck, then score a sweet strong Japanese iced coffee from a vending machine (there’s nothing like it), sit down behind the Ochanomizu mini-mall or whatever it’s called by a waterfall, open the laptop, drink deep of someone’s open WiFi, and do some email while I was waiting.

And I think to myself: What a wonderful world.


Comment feed for ongoing:Comments feed

From: Peter Krantz (Nov 20 2007, at 01:23)

That's it! No more wifi-stealing from passers-by. I am turning on the upside-down-ternet.

Take that Mr. Bray!


From: Elaine (Nov 20 2007, at 09:08)

When I was a teenager in So. Cal, they had a setup like that at a science museum, IIRC. I went through so many earthquake drills in school, that when we had one up here a few years back, instinct kicked in before rational thought. I was under my desk before I was even really aware what was going on. Something to be said for that. (In contrast, some of my coworkers who were local to western WA *ran* out of the building.)


From: Mark (Nov 20 2007, at 17:52)

So you visited Hitachi?


From: ekbworldwide (Dec 01 2007, at 17:31)

On the subject?

A blog I wrote featuring Ochanomizu station.

Off the subject...

During the economic "bubble" in Japan there was a tremendous amount of 'questionable' construction.

As is often the case - googling or learning about a Japanese subject is frustrating.

about 1,950 for intitle:japan earthquake-proof

The issue is significant. Many of the hits are about worried homeowners.

That link has a brief description of problems - and two links: both are broken.

Tokyo is statically overdue for an earthquake. It's anyone's guess how seriously the graft and corruption endemic during the bubble will cause homes and buildings to shake just that much more.


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November 19, 2007
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