Cold comfort in a cucumber slice
WITH another 32-degree scorcher forecast for today, here are some ideas for keeping cool from the July issue of Rainbow magazine, of the Japanese town Fukuoka: Cover yourself with sliced cucumbers.
Eat kakigori (shaved ice) in the bathtub.
Fill a bowl with ice-cubes and dunk your feet.
Be the only one in the park who frolics in the fountains.
Sleep with ''ice non'' (the ice packs used to bring down fevers).
Frequent beer gardens.
All brilliant ideas - particularly the last one, which we understand may have been tried before.
But we should add that even if the temperature touches 32 degrees again today, it is a poor idea to try all six at once, particularly during office hours.
Another cooling idea from Japan is Sanyo's portable mini-fridge. Powered by a battery pack similar to that of a video camera, this dinky gadget can carry just four small cans of beer at ice-cold temperatures.
Just the right size if you have 10 per cent of an expatriate coming on your picnic.
Staged launch TODAY'S column has a Japanese flavour, as the stand-in Lai See has just returned from a mind-scrambling week in Tokyo, the world's second weirdest city. Normal service will be resumed tomorrow.
Just introduced in Tokyo is a health drink named Godo. This came as a big disappointment as we had independently worked out more than a year ago that this would be a great name for a drink and were looking forward to selling the name to a big drinks company on a royalties basis, but had not got round to registering it.
Just think of the marketing potential in the slogan: ''Godo: it's the drink you've been waiting for.'' Hat trick SOME rotational thinking: cool Tokyo dudes who wear their baseball caps the wrong way round can now buy caps with the logo at the back.
Unlucky dip DID anyone notice the New Bank of China building getting smaller last week? It started the week as the second-highest building in Asia, and ended it no more than the third-highest building in Asia.
This is not a resurgence of the 1990 rumour about architect I.M. Pei's strange-shaped building sinking into the ground. The reason is the completion of the Yokohama Landmark Tower, which like the Bank of China is 70 storeys high.
The Yokohama tower is a tapered square, and it occurs to us that there is scope for a children's toy composed of three Bank of China buildings made from plastic, which if fitted together correctly would make up a Yokohama Tower.
Perhaps the most strange thing about the tower is its garbage system. Like the rest of Minato Mirai 21 district, it is a showcase for an underground system of conveyor belts which travel beneath the streets carrying rubbish to a central compactor and dump.
We propose a similar system for Central. Among its uses would be to allow unwanted copies of the Shanghai Petrochemical prospectus to be dumped straight into the harbour.
Also, executives could have a special seat fitted in their offices. One push of a button could dump the occupant into the system, giving him or her a murky bath - a facility that would have been very useful at a recent meeting of underwriters and non-underwriters.
Grass is greener SOLOMON Thanaraj visited the New Shinsaibashi Hotel in Osaka, where the card giving check-in details and hotel rules told him: ''Please refrain from sleepy smoking.'' Quite right too. Osaka is a law-abiding place, and no hotel wants its guests smoking that kind of cigarette.
The little picture of a crossed-out cigarette, which always accompanies anti-smoking messages like this, looked pretty huge. There's obviously not a lot happening in downtown Osaka at nights.
Very inviting BACK at home, the China listings continue. Next is Beiren Printing Machinery Holdings, which has commissioned Keith Statham to invite journalists to its launch press conference tomorrow.
True to its business, Beiren achieved a unique distinction in sending not one, not two, but 11 invitations before our fax machine jammed in exhaustion.
Incidentally, we stapled them all together for filing and then lost the lot. What was the time and place again? Dead end street SEVERAL readers, including John Whitney of Penta-Ocean Construction, pointed out that someone has been advertising a flat for rent in ''Elimination Terrace'' in the Tai Hang area.
Is it meant to be Illumination Terrace? ''Or is it every landlord's answer to unwelcome tenants?'' asked John.
Licence to fill THIS writer's previous stint as stand-in Lai See drew adverse comment from Steve, an electronics engineer who lives in Jordan, who asked whether the choice of substitute columnist was based on the ability to carefully copy the signature on the bottom of the page, as writing ability clearly was not part of the selection process.
Thank you, Steve. Allow us to let you into an amazing newspaper secret. It is not necessary for the substitute columnist to copy the signature at the bottom of the page every day.
The real Lai See has already signed three weeks' worth of blank columns, and it just remains for the words to be filled in.