Smelly analogy in cartoon of nuclear plant news

By Grant Jacobs 25/03/2011 4

Here’s a cartoon that was apparently shown to young children in Japan, explaining their nuclear plant news.

For those wondering want this is doing on an adult’s science website, I offer in my defence the lame excuse that it is an example of science communication by analogy for the very young. While true, in reality I just find it a little surreal. Well, a whole lot surreal. You’ll see what I mean.

This copy of the original, which includes a translation, comes with this translation of the accompanying notes offered in the original:

Neither Mr. Hachiya nor video creator is an expert on the subject, and we advise you to obtain acurate information from the Tokyo Electric Power Company.

My thoughts and prayers are for those affected by the disaster.

And for us living outside of an affected area, should not take irrational action based on unofficial reports.

We’re hoping for everyone’s quick recovery so more people can have a smile.

(Personally, I’m not keen on the religious message in the final passages; the story had been told without it. I prefer kids’ educational material to be free of this sort of thing, so that families that would rather their kids not have a religious message don’t have to.)

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4 Responses to “Smelly analogy in cartoon of nuclear plant news”

  • Personally, I think “thoughts and prayers” has lost all meaning. It’s something you say when you don’t know what to say. There’s no religious significance at all. When people say “Jesus Christ!” they’re not really invoking the Son of God.

    It’s like when they ask how you are, and you say, “fine”. Doesn’t mean anything.

    –grumpy rpg

  • Just a note on this: I took the translators words literally, rather than figuratively, which I hope is correct. I posted this in the wee hours and this morning, then wondered this morning if the translation was of an expression of respect, rather than prayer in the religious sense, that has been loosely translated – I don’t know Japanese and so wouldn’t be able to verify the translation.


    I take your point—it may just be a cultural relic, as it were—but you could also argue that if you want to say your thoughts are with someone, you can do that without using ‘pray’.

    Grumpy? I hope not at me.

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