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Sunday, Feb. 13, 2005

CHANNEL SURF

Learn if your pet loves you in TV Tokyo's "Pochi-Tama" and more

Does your pet love you? It may sound like a pointless question, but this week the pet variety program "Pochi-Tama" (TV Tokyo; Fri., 7 p.m.) will offer a test that pet owners can take to determine the degree of affection that their dogs and cats feel toward them.

Baseball-player-turned-comedian Punch Sato will be on hand with his dog Wendy to take part in the test. For example, Wendy's capacity for jealousy will be gauged. Sato will express affection to a different dog to see whether or not Wendy attacks the interloper. The program will also try to measure a pet's degree of friendliness and loyalty, which may sound like splitting hairs -- or fur, as it were.

Also on the show, the horny, dumb-as-dirt golden labrador Masao, whose journey throughout Japan has been a regular feature of the show for several years, will finally arrive in Okinawa. Watch out for snakes!


Conspiracy theory enthusiasts will be given plenty to ponder on this week's two-hour "Saturday Special" (TV Asahi, Sat., 7 p.m.), in which host Goro Inagaki "investigates" rumors surrounding George W. Bush and his presidency.

The program will analyze Bush's personality and interview a number of "reliable" people who will testify to certain underhand practices that took place during the presidential election last fall, including possible voter fraud related to the use of computerized voting machines.

An ex-NASA official goes on the record "at the risk of his life" to tell of other official improprieties, and a special report shows the connections between the Bush Dynasty and the bin Laden family, which is old news to anyone who saw "Fahrenheit 9/11."


Oenophiles are very familiar with the term "noble rot," but lay people may find it at least oxymoronic. It refers to a parasitic fungus, botrytis cinerea, that attacks "rich grapes" and causes an increase in sugar content. The two most famous wines produced from such grapes are the French Sauternes and the Hungarian Tokay, both of which are renowned for their sweetness.

In the 17th century, Tokay was prized by European royalty and the great artists of the era, including Beethoven and Goethe. Next Sunday (Feb. 20, 11:30 p.m.) the TBS travel documentary show "Sekai Isan (World Heritage)" will go to the Tokay region of Hungary, which has produced this sort of noble-rot wine longer than any other area of the world. Because of its unique climate, Tokay grapes are particularly susceptible to the fungus, and, after they are harvested, the grapes are dried, leaving only the sugar. The program will look into the history of Tokay revealing the secrets of its production.



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