Check It Out

No.182 (2/25/11)

An Experiment and the Love of a Big Brother

By Keiko H. Johnson
Staff Writter

It was just before Christmas. I was out in the car, waiting for my two boys, when my youngest son came rushing out of the house and told me that he accidentally dropped his Nintendo DS into the toilet. He looked troubled, worried and upset! He said his oldest brother helped him to reinstall the DS but his voice quivered and was so weak that I could only vaguely understand how exactly his big brother had fixed the DS once dipped in the toilet water.

A few minutes later, my oldest son, seemingly relaxed and composed, came out of the house and got in the of car. “He can use mine while I am fixing his” my oldest son said and handed his DS to his younger brother. “Your DS needs to be left in rice for a few hours, and then we shall see what happens”. I stepped on the brake pedal immediately as I said “RICE” and turned around to see my oldest son's face. “I need to leave it in dry uncooked rice to fix it” he said with full confidence in his voice.

I drove the car that was half way out of the driveway back into the parking space and slammed the door as I stormed out of the car, and raced into the house. The rice my oldest son was talking about was a freshly opened bag of locally grown rice I had just poured into a glass jar that morning, which cost much more than rice sold in stores in the States. In addition to what it cost, especially to Japanese as I am, the rice signifies our food culture and is valued as a staple food of Japan. Discarding rice is morally considered sinful in Japan and leaves a feeling of guilt and unpleasantness, and I was, not at all convinced I would not suffer these exact feelings. I raced into my house with the hope of finding some rice and the DS in a Zip lock bag and NOT in the jar of newly purchased rice.

As I entered the house and finally reached the jar, I did not, at first glance, see the contaminated DS in there, but it was in fact, buried deep inside the rice, without any remorse. During the sequence of the event, I searched my heart and tried to weigh more on a compassionate brother and sing the praises of his success in reinstalling the Nintendo DS; yet, I could not hide my regret over the complete ruin of a perfectly brand new bag of rice which I had to discard.

After a few hours of being left in the rice, the DS was removed from the jar. The rice gave life back to the DS, miraculously, and was discarded into the trash can as a casualty. This method can also be used for cell phones that are drenched, according to a few of the web-based articles I read later. In this seemingly implausible experiment, my children proved uncooked rice can successfully, as a result, reinstall a Nintendo DS and help it to function again properly. They just need a little of the rice and not the entire jar of rice next time!!

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