Doug Lerner reports from Tokyo and St. Louis, and points beyond…

Archive for September, 2011

Typhoon is past – and as soon as it stopped raining we had a magnitude 5.3 earthquake

I was playing with Hao and Mon and they stopped dead in their tracks and sort of looked around with a, “What was that?” expression.

It was a short quake. At the epicenter which was further north, it was a 5- on the Japanese scale of 7. No tsunami warning.


Typhoon 15 – trains stopped in Tokyo, house is shaking a bit

Typhoon 15 seems to be getting stronger here in Tokyo, even though it’s not the hardest place hit. I can feel my house buffeted by the strong winds. All the trains in Tokyo have stopped.


Girl elated by Hawaii bottle find

A Japanese teenager expressed gratitude Sunday after a U.S. sailor in Hawaii found a bottle she had tossed into the sea off Japan’s southern coast as a child, and said she was delighted to be reconnected with her old classmates as a result.

Time and tide: A photo in a bottle found during a beach cleanup at the Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai Island in Hawaii shows sixth-grade students from Kagoshima. AP PHOTO

Saki Arikawa, 17, said she had almost forgotten about the bottle and initially couldn’t believe it was found after five years.

In a telephone interview from her hometown in Kagoshima Prefecture, she said “it’s a miracle” the bottle was found. “It’s incredible,” she said.

The clear glass bottle was found Thursday by navy Petty Officer Jon Moore during a beach cleanup at the Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai Island.

The bottle contained four origami cranes — traditional symbols of peace — as well as a photo of Arikawa’s elementary school class and a note dated March 25, 2006, and signed by Arikawa saying she wanted it to be “a graduation memory.”

News of the bottle’s recovery reconnected more than a dozen of her old classmates, now studying at different high schools, and their homeroom teacher for a reunion Saturday. Arikawa says she now wants to further expand the circle of friendship.

“Thanks to the bottle, some of us could get together and had a great time,” she said. “Now I’d like to meet the person who kindly saved my bottle.”

The bottle was one of five she tossed into the ocean in 2006 as her sixth-grade class graduated from Kokubu Elementary School in Kagoshima.

If the IRS had discovered the quadratic formula


7 earthquakes so far today

There have been 7 earthquakes so far today between magnitude 4.9 and 6.6. Six of the quakes were greater than magnitude 5 and 2 were magnitudes 6 and 6.6.

Yet, the epicenters were far enough from Tokyo that I didn’t feel them.



How often do you go to bookstores?

There was a CNN poll up today “How often do you go to a bookstore?”
I realized that while I read books all the time, I almost never go to bookstores anymore.

Yet…in the past I used to LOVE going to bookstores, and would go out of my way to visit new and used bookstores all the time. I even wanted to open a bookstore.

Is it just times which have changed? Or is it me?
What about you?


Fukushima nuclear power plants still not shut down

Six months later, this is worth being aware of:

Workers at the Fukushima nuclear plant are still struggling to meet a goal of bringing it to a cold shutdown by early next year.

“We are barely keeping the reactors under control and the situation is still difficult,” Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency spokesman Yoshinori Moriyama said in Tokyo.
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