Thursday, March 17, 2011

Like a laser printer with papyrus

Japan, as we all know, is the true kingdom of borderline-useful technology. Whether it is toilets with remote controls and self-lifting lids, or small pocket-sized co-dependent digital friends that die if you forget to feed them, or trumpet playing robots, bar-code reading cell phones, ATMs that count money and coins for deposits, self-filling bathtubs, talking garbage trucks, or vending machines that sell everything including flowers, beer, porn, cigarettes, and batteries (I imagine a night where you buy the flowers last as an apology for all the crap you did with the latter four items). But as the disaster unfolds in Japan, and the government insists that balsa wood and rice paper are adequate protection from a meltdown (stay indoors!), I have been reminded of one area where Japan is remaining doggedly in the 5th century.

And that is in using physical hand-held posters when presenting the this guy -

(suck on this Gutenberg!)

Who is doggedly maintaining the fourth wall while explaining how a nuclear reactor works. Because nothing brings nuclear physics to life like a poorly handled slide show with the presenter's hands strategically blocking the view for the camera man, who is the only human on the planet with a good view of this info-fest.

Also, as the inner workings of a failed nuclear meltdown require a bit more info than could be crammed on this A4 (that's 8 1/2 by 11 for us Yanks) sized micro-poster, you can clearly see that professor Bronze-Age has about 3 more equally uber-useful slides ready to go. The sharps have him as a lock to win the Glendale Middle School science fair participation award.

But fear not non-NHK cameramen - we do get a front-on look eventually:

And when the claw of obfuscation is eventually removed this will all become clear...maybe.

Ironically this was all viewed on a 500 inch high-def TV-hemoth...and we get a 4th grade book report.

Seriously? We don't have a scanner and a dude with a flash drive who could get this up on a screen? CNN had god damn holograms in the last presidential election.

Still, I guess when push comes to shove, I will take bad presentation technology and a calm orderly response to horrifying devastation over massive looting, inadequate FEMA response, and Anderson Cooper via hologram.