Welcome again to JJNN for Monday May 26th, 2008. Today I will be presenting two wildly varying topics: one man's personal problem and the possibility of a huge natural disaster in Japan.
The first news story is about a plumber named Nomoto Hiroyuki. The original story can be found here. If there is one thing that Mr. Nomoto likes it is the sound of a lady's voice. I don't hold that against him. I would say that almost all of the men and women across the world have something that revs them up. And, more than that, there are a lot of things more weird than the sound of a woman's voice. (I could tell you stories about ice cubes that would make you shiver.)
One would think that being turned on by a person's voice would not be so bad, and normally that would be true. But, Mr. Nomoto decided to take things to extremes. In just over a year (from July of 2005 to November of 2006) he called the toll-free number of a food company about 500 times. He spent roughly 3100 hours on the phone with the company because he wanted to hear the pre-recorded voice over the phone. He said: "I just wanted to hear a young lady's voice." My advice, go to a bar!
Any way, because toll-free numbers are not free to the company Mr. Nomoto had to pay roughly 3.8 million yen. That is quite the expensive hobby he had there. Maybe now he will think twice before he picks up his phone.
The next story is about one of Japan's symbols. The original story can be found here. When I say "Japan," what is the first thing that comes into your mind? Tokyo? Anime? Rice? I hope at least a few of you (that is assuming that anyone actually reads this blog) said Mt. Fuji.
Mt. Fuji is the symbol of Japan for Japanese people. A few facts about Mt. Fuji: it is 3776m tall, the first person reached the top in the year 663, it is only officially open to climb for about 2 months in the middle of the summer、and according to this source Mt. Fuji has erupted about 25 time in its history.
The most important fact is that Mt. Fuji is an active volcano. For a while it was classified as a dormant volcano, but Japan's meteorological agency changed the the classification again to active volcano. This means that the Japanese (and rightfully) are worried about the next time Mt. Fuji will erupt.
It is says that there is a 50 to 90 percent chance that there will be a major earthquake on the on or just off the eastern and southern cost on Japan within the next 30 years. A new project has been started started by The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (Also known as MEXT...and as a side note I was employed by MEXT for 3 years) to discover if there could be any connections between future earthquakes and future eruptions. There have been many cases in the distant past that might lead to a connection between earthquakes in the area and eruptions of Mt. Fuji, but no one has exact information about it. The project will connect the few people that watch over the conditions of Mt. Fuji with seismologists.
The 1707 eruption of Mt. Fuji occurred 49 days after a major earthquake in the area, but there were also times in which the eruption did not occur after an earthquake and even times in which the eruption came before the major earthquake. The scientists now think there must be a connection to the plate under the ocean and the eruption of Mt. Fuji.
The scientists on the current project are creating artificial earthquakes in underground structures around MT. Fuji to investigate the connection. They are also digging deep holes around the foot of the mountain and checking the geological conditions of the area.
I wonder how much information they can get about the connection between big earthquakes and the eruption of Mt. Fuji by these methods, but I am all for them finding something. As someone that lives in Japan I wish them all the luck in the world.
I am also adding a new part to JJNN; Word of the day. I will introduce one word in Japanese that has something to do with the news of the day and tell you all how to read it and what it means. Today's word of the day is 富士山(ふじさん). It is read fujisan and means Mt. Fuji.
Any way, that's it for today. See you next time at JJNN.