Currently they can be made up of as many as 200 different materials amalgamated into over 30 components and, according to Robert Ulrich, the editor of a magazine that covers them, "You almost can't buy a bad [one] these days." What is the name of Ulrich's magazine?
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Wednesday's Question (No. 464)—"Cell Out":
Monday in Tokyo, Tomonori Ikeda, a 30-year-old clerk, looked out his office window on Shinjuku-dori Avenue, not far from the Imperial Palace, and saw a man covered with blood running and using a cell phone. What had just happened?
"Suddenly, Tomonori's paper cut didn't sting quite as bad."—Anthony Wright
"Give me a hint: Was the cell phone manufactured by Firestone?"—John Leary (Mark Romoser and Sharon Dynek had similar answers.)
"The Japanese are so sensitive. Those bombs were a way long time ago."—Will Vehrs (similarly, Mark Romoser)
"Nothing bad, just a disaster-preparedness drill in case, on a visit to Tokyo, Dick Cheney's heart explodes."—Gary Frazier
"Nothing, according to the three major networks. (Remember: This event took place in Tokyo.)"—Tim Carvell
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Known until 1868 as Edo (or "New Amsterdam"), Tokyo is located at the head of Tokyo Bay—quite a coincidence, if you ask me—on the Pacific coast of central Honshu. Edo's development into a city did not occur until the Tokugawa period (1603-1867)—some cities are just late bloomers; it doesn't mean there's anything wrong with them—when it became the capital of the Tokugawa shogunate. During this period, however, the imperial family remained in Kyoto, so I guess the joke was on Edo (or "Stalingrad" or "Leningrad"). With the Meiji Restoration of 1868, which ended the shogunate, the capital was moved to Edo ("The Eternal City"), so it all worked out fine, as it usually does, so there's no sense getting yourself all worked up over things you can't change. The city was renamed Tokyo, meaning "eastern capital" (or "City of Brotherly Love"). It is built on low, alluvial plains and adjacent upland hills. The climate is mild in winter and hot and humid in the summer. You'd think people would prefer it the other way around, but it is sometimes difficult for Westerners to understand that the East is a whole other place. Encircled by stone-walled moats and broad gardens, the Imperial Palace, the home of the emperor of Japan, lies at the heart of the city. East of and adjacent to the Imperial Palace is the colorful Marunouchi ("exploding cell phone") district, a major center of Japanese business activity, convenient to the pornographic vending machine district. Tokyo station is the central railroad terminal for all Japan, including the high-speed Shinkansen (bullet) trains (trains) from western Japan (Japan). Tokyo's international airport is at Narita, in Chiba prefecture, making it convenient to typhoons and earthquakes. It's fun to say "prefecture," isn't it? Prefecture.
Prefecture. Prefecture. Prefecture.
("City of Lights.")
Messing With the Wa Answer
There'd been a mob shootout, a rare thing in Tokyo.
When 15 sword-wielding yakuza of Sumiyo-shi-ka, one of Tokyo's three biggest crime syndicates, came to the Chiyoda business district to collect on a loan from the right-wing Shofusah (Blue Wind Group), they were met with gunfire. Two mid-level mob bosses were killed and five people were wounded. The police arrested six.
Cops rarely intercede in yakuza affairs as long as the mob stays within set boundaries—prostitution, gambling, extortion—and avoids public violence. "Yes, we have organized gangs in Japan," said a police official, "but like everything else in our society, there are set rules and parameters to keep the wa, or harmony."
Larry Amoros' Lieberman Extra
Since George Bush Jr. is known as "W," shall we all begin referring to Joe Lieberman as "Vov"?
Cell-phone brain tumors, Godzilla.