Earthquake prediction documentary; Mokomichi Hayami’s cooking; CM of the week: Toshiba

Since March 11, the science of earthquake prediction has come under fire. Detractors say the methodology is too fraught with variables to make a difference. Resources would be better spent on preparedness.

The man credited with making earthquake prediction seem viable was Akitsune Imamura, a University of Tokyo seismologist who, in 1905, predicted the Great Kanto Earthquake, which struck in 1923. He is the subject of this installment of the NHK documentary series, “Rekishi Hiwa Historia” (“History’s Unknown Stories: Historia”; NHK-G, Wed., 10 p.m.).

Imamura announced his prediction because he wanted the Japanese government to be better prepared. His academic superiors derided this campaign, saying he was causing unnecessary anxiety. The government did nothing, and when the earthquake struck, Imamura became famous, which was not his aim. Neither was the growth of the earthquake prediction field.

Ikemen (handsome guy) actor Mokomichi Hayami has found secondary success as a chef. Having taught himself how to cook because he thought it would attract girls, Mokomichi already has his own regular cooking segment on Nihon TV’s morning information show, “Zip,” and has just published his own cookbook with 200 original recipes.

This week, Hayami will demonstrate his culinary skills on two shows. On Thursday, he will appear on variety show “Naruhodo! High School” (“I Understand! High School”; Nippon TV, 7 p.m.), where he will prepare a spicy Mexican rice dish. On Saturday he will be the guest on cooking show “Chubo Desu Yo” (“It’s a Kitchen”; TBS, 11:30 p.m.), where he will make Chicken Basil Fried Rice.

CM of the week: Toshiba

In a consumer-electronics age where the latest technology is outdated as soon as it hits the shelves, the idea of 3-D visuals for PCs sounds overly hopeful.

But Toshiba’s new dynabook Qosmio T851 laptop boasts just that — 3-D visuals without the need for special glasses. In the latest ad, actor Tomohisa Yamashita removes his glasses and then cartoon images fly out of his computer screen, attacking him. He dodges a sword and a boxing glove while the voice-over explains the PC’s special “face tracking” feature. Then an animated girl pops up and punches him right in the face. When selling 3-D, it helps to be aggressive.