Sunday, April 3, 2011

I can't find (his) pants!

Pantsu ga mitsukaranai!

I tried to buy the usual high cost-performance diapers I get for the Pumpkin Prince, but they were sold out. I ended up getting the high end diapers by the same manufacturer (Mammi-Poko vs Moony, for those of you familiar with Japanese diapers). This is obviously part of the sanitary napkin/ Kleenex/ toilet paper shortage that has come about since the quake. The shortage makes sense to a limited extent, as several high output paper mills have shut down because of the quake. No big deal, the Royal Bottom will be wrapped in more expensive stuff than is usual, but it's an interesting phenomenon.

I think this quake will be one of those things that you either remember or you don't, kind of like how the previous generation talks about WWII. "Right after the war, we had sweet potato skins for breakfast, and nothing else. And we were glad to have them." "For a couple weeks after the quake, we had blackouts, sometimes up to 7 hours a day. And we were glad to have them."

I'm an academic, or at least, my job description says that I am. Last week, I got an e-mail from a big American organization in my field, saying that if you live in Japan and were affected by the quake, submission deadlines for this year's big conference will be 2 weeks later for you than everyone else. We had very little quake/ tsunami damage, but we started discussing the definition of "affected by the quake."

1. Not directly hit, but had trouble peeling self away from the TV and news websites until fairly recently

2. Not directly hit, but couldn't get any work done because of blackouts

3. Not directly hit, and could have got work done but was feeling so hopeless and depressed over everything (and the blackouts didn't help)

4. Not directly hit, and did manage to get quite a bit of work done and would have made the original deadline if the lack of heat hadn't caused you to catch a cold

What do you think? Do any of these count as "affected by the quake?" If you were the selection committee, which explanations would you accept as valid and worthy of a deadline extension?

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