Yesterday at around 1:10PM, residents of Tateyama City in Chiba Prefecture, Japan were shaken by the sounds of an emergency siren. "A giant tsunami is coming. Please get yourself to higher ground immediately." Then more sirens, and one more, "A giant tsunami is coming. Please get yourself to higher ground immediately." The automated voice sent residents fleeing. More sirens. And then the same automated voice finally brought relief... "That was a false alarm."

What happened was that the geniuses at the Public Safety Department were testing the new tsunami warning system, called J-Alert, and meant to listen to it inside their office. What they didn't know was that while they were listening, so were the 50,000 residents of Tateyama. I'm sure there's a lot of apologizing going on in Chiba right about now, and consequently, a lot of bowing.