11 March 2011

11/03/11

Ballade at Thirty-five

This, no song of an ingénue,
This, no ballad of innocence;
This, the rhyme of a lady who
Followed ever her natural bents.
This, a solo of sapience,
This, a chantey of sophistry,
This, the sum of experiments, --
I loved them until they loved me.

Decked in garments of sable hue,
Daubed with ashes of myriad Lents,
Wearing shower bouquets of rue,
Walk I ever in penitence.
Oft I roam, as my heart repents,
Through God's acre of memory,
Marking stones, in my reverence,
"I loved them until they loved me."

Pictures pass me in long review,--
Marching columns of dead events.
I was tender, and, often, true;
Ever a prey to coincidence.
Always knew I the consequence;
Always saw what the end would be.
We're as Nature has made us -- hence
I loved them until they loved me.

-Dorothy Parker

81 comments:

  1. I have a slightly unusual request. One of the staff members at our high school sent an e-mail to everyone in the district. The son of some friends of his has been fighting cancer "for more than half his life", according to the e-mail we received. His parents were recently told that there is nothing more that the doctors can do.

    There's an organisation called the Make a Wish Foundation that tries to grant wishes for children with terminal illnesses. When Max was asked about a wish from them, he didn't really want anything. What he said he wanted was to receive one million cards. The family knows that that's unlikely, but they're asking people for help in getting as many as possible for him.

    If any of you would be so kind, please send a card to:

    Mighty Max Low
    c/o Greg and Bambi Low
    PO Box 111
    Neola IA 51559

    (Mighty isn't actually part of the boy's name, but that's the way the address was given to us...)

    I debated all day whether or not to post this, but I can't imagine having to watch Joe die and I guess I feel like this would be as much a comfort for his parents as a gift for a dying boy.

    Thanks, everyone.

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  2. Montana

    The funny thing with this is that it has happened quite a number of times, even before the days of the internet.

    I am not for one moment suggesting that in this case it is not true and genuine and I imagine you are in a position to verify the details, since it seems to be close to you both geographically and in terms of work.

    It just seems odd that every few years, ill children want to receive a million cards.

    From memory, the cases in the past have not proved to be scams, but my cynicism makes me suspicious.

    Which reminds me of the young scamp and his girlfriend who knocked on the door the other evening.

    He seemed to have printed something with "Red Cross" in it and, cunningly, a red cross to match and then Sellotaped it to his jacket.

    The pitch was something like: "I wonder if you would like to give me a few quid a week, which I will obviously hand over to the Red Cross. Let's give it a few weeks and see how it goes, then maybe you could give even more."

    The smile on his little face as I handed him a crisp £20 note and the promise that there was plenty more where that came from made it all worthwhile.

    I love Big Soc.

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  3. @ Chekhov (from last night). Doing okay,thanks, mother and baby well. Possibly going down on the 26th, but that rather depends on getting a day pass from the missus, who at the moment isn't wholly enamoured of the idea of being on her tod with the wee man at a weekend, on top of when I'm at work. Actually, it'd be more than a 1 day pass:coaches leaving crack of dawn, and to be honest I can't see any way in the world, with the logistics, and the likelihood of delays, maybe some kettling etc that they'll begin to set off back home until well into night-time, so it might end up being over 24 hrs.
    Look here for details of the coaches. Now, I was at a Coalition of Resistance meeting the other week (ho-hum), and a guy from Unite (the union) did actually promise to underwrite everyone's coach travel, so it should no longer cost the quoted £10/£25. Do check, though.

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  4. You should, of course, make your own mind up, atomboy, but it won't cost me a crisp twenty to just send the kid a card.

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  5. Just reading lolpenz's latest radically radical polemically polemic on squatting.

    I wonder is it radical to occupy an unused Tuscan villa?

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  6. Alert on Google front page:

    Tsunami Alert for New Zealand, the Philippines, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Hawaii, and others. Waves expected over the next few hours, caused by 8.9 earthquake in Japan.

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  7. @Eddie:

    There’s no amount of obsolete Russian armour, Czech SKOTs, French Mirages, Swedish Bofors guns and Pakistani munitions can stop Our Lolz overthrowing ol’ Potato Head’s odious régime through the power of squatting.

    The Colonel must be shitting himself.

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  8. Atomboy, I don't know if you've been watching the BBC news, but the bloke presenting actually said "this is possibly the worst catastrophe that Japan has seen".

    ????????

    Fingers crossed and pray to anything you want to for the Pacific islands that are in the way of the tsumani. Monitoring stations seem to be saying that waves could be higher than many islands' max alt.

    Jesus, what are you supposed to do if you live there?

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  9. Oh fucking hell!!!!!!!
    "You may at home be worried about travel plans".

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  10. ”...Fingers crossed and pray to anything you want to for the Pacific islands that are in the way of the tsumani...”

    They’ll need something a bit stronger than prayers to save them, if the tsunami I’ve just been watching grinding its way across the Sendai littoral area of Northern Japan is anything like what’s heading their way.

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  11. @BW:

    Jesus, indeed.

    PS http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00z090l/Paul_Jones_07_03_2011/

    Broadcast on Monday evening if you didn’t catch it. Brilliant.

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  12. "They’ll need something a bit stronger than prayers to save them"

    You're not wrong, swifty. It's all I've got for them right now. Poor sods.

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  13. Wow, japan quake... Cleggy picked a good weekend to bury the Conference...

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  14. Just watched some footage of a large black wave trundling across a huge industrial estate of warehouses demolishing everything. It had little white specks in it and when I looked closely they were fucking lorries. Like, WOW.

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  15. I see you guys are out in force speedy. Loads of riot vans parked down Trippet Lane. Are you expecting an Arab style uprising?

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  16. The earthquake in Japan looks like a real monster. According to the Telegraph a fire has broken out at a nuclear plant in Japan. God help them all!

    fire breaks out at nuclear plant in Onagawa

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  17. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  18. Excuse me while I park this here from Whaddya. Just walk round it.

    Heheh.

    Yesterday, kiz (in full Dame Edna stylee) called me a whinger and "poppet". Later, when goto said his computer was making a yapping sound, I suggested it might be kizbot in response to someone saying something factual about bru.

    kizbot herself answered in kind - fair enough - but then someone else hit the "report abuse" button to get only my post deleted. Oh! The nasty, nasty man had said something uncomplimentary to dear kiz and bru!

    Is it any wonder so many people dismiss whaddya as being squatted by a rather ludricous little cabal that sees it as its personal property?

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  19. Sorry about that inconsequential aside.

    Jesus, yes, that's a big bastard. The Japanese had got used to suffering minimal inconvenience from earthquakes with their seismic construction standards. Let's hope there aren't too many killed and injured.

    And as Habib says, the poor bastards on other Pacific islands definitely don't have the norms and measures to deal with this.

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  20. Sheff:

    Any chance of any live reports from Sheffield?

    Just caught a bit of BBC news and you would never know there was any 'dissent'....


    As for the quake and the tsunami... just been watching some of the footage of the first of the waves ..... from the Guardian front page, you can clearly see people inmvehicles and on scooters etc. who will not have been able to escape...

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  21. "Let's hope there aren't too many killed and injured"

    Well, sick bastard as I am I've watched the two main bits of video footage several times over now... that's got to be thousands of people hit along the coast, and during working hours. I hate to say it, but we're talking catastrophic numbers if all those vehicles and buildings had people in them...

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  22. Ho Ho, isn't there something like about 100 protesters in the town centre at the moment sheffpixie? SYP have slightly overestimated today methinks... Have you thrown a bag of wee yet?

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  23. @HB

    Crossing my fingers, but there may be fewer than you'd think. Unlike tourists in Thailand, the Japanese know what it means when the sea suddenly retreats from the shore and may have had time to get to higher ground.

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  24. Are you sheff based as well, Speedy?

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  25. For some reason my last link didn't work so here's another of the Japanese Tsunami as it hits the coast. Mother Nature at it's most awesome and pity the poor bastards that got caught up in it.

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  26. The steel city's well represented on this blog. I spent my school days in west sheff, and still go back all the time, have family there etc.

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  27. Montana, would you like us to post that on? A lot of the people on my facebook are soft gits, who would undoubtedly play along.

    Can't even comment on the issues in Japan. Terrifying stuff. Just watching in horror, and wishing i believed in a god I could pray to. (And what's with the nuclear reactor? eek!)

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  28. Re the nuclear plant: last I read, they said that none of them were leaking any radiation, including the damaged one.

    But they probably would say that, wouldn't they.

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  29. Sheff and MsChin - You've got mail.

    ItotheVizzo - that's a good school. I went to Silverdale - hated it. My bothers went to King Teds.

    The situation in Japan is indeed horrifying. Having seen the footage I can't help but feel horribly pessimistic.

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  30. Shocking devastation in Japan - horrifying. There will be a massive death toll I fear.

    Montana

    Will send card - it may be some comfort to Max and his parents.

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  31. Afternoon

    speedy/Larit

    Quiet at the mo....indeed it is. Plenty of time yet - don't want to peak to soon, as it were. Or possibly it's yet another example of British apathy in the face of being shat on.

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  32. Spike
    Hope so mate. Looks pretty catastrophic to me though.

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  33. Pictures here from the NYT of the tsunami. The devastation is immense - I dread the casualty figures from this.

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  34. Fuck the footage is frightening. Large buildings swept away.

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  35. Spike

    The damage defies imagination - how vulnerable we and all living things are.

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  36. So now it is letting me post - why? - what's different? (nobody's expected to know the answer to that one)

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/finance/jeremywarner/100009766/japan-will-bounce-back-from-this-terrible-disaster/

    And what are the immediate reaction of the establishment as the death toll rises - to the destruction of the lives of real people? - people whose concerns are just as real as their own? - who are just as much human beings? - or, in some cases, were human beings?...

    What it's going to mean economically - and, hey look, it should afterwards be good for business.

    This is what the forecasting team at Aon Benfield, the reinsurers, had to say about it this morning:

    "To put the current situation into historical context, this surpasses the magnitude-7.9 Great Kanto earthquake from September 1, 1923 in strength. That event left more than 140,000 people dead in the greater Tokyo region. The Great Hanshin event on January 17, 1995 was a magnitude-6.8 tremor that killed 6,400 people. Economic damages were in excess of USD100 billion and insured losses were approximately USD3 billion."

    This quake was even bigger in magnitude. The destruction visited by the accompanying tsunami will multiply the damage. Yet the curiosity of such calamities is that the immediate economic costs are frequently made up for in the subsequent period of furious renewal. Already mountainous public debt may crimp Japan’s ability to bounce back, but in the medium term the effect will undoubtedly be to add to economic growth rather than subtract from it.

    It might seem small consolation at this time of national tragedy, but Japan will eventually recover and prosper anew.

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  37. More footage HERE from Reuters.

    Without sounding melodramatic the World now feels a less safe place than it did a year ago what with everything that's going on.

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  38. Hi Moonwave,

    Don't know what browser you are using, but at work we are running the geriatric Internet Explorer V6, and I rarely manage to get a comment box on it - and when I do, half the time it disappears with my post after I hit the button.

    Using Chrome at home, and while the box sometimes doesn't appear, a refresh or two usually does the trick.

    Don't know what to say about the earthquake and tsunami. Just gobsmacked.

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  39. An early track for Music Hour. Have a good evening everyone.

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  40. Thaum - I'm generally on IE8 now - IE6 has been phased out for some applications, which is probably why you're not getting a Comment box. After suggestions the other day - was it the browser? - I found my computer didn't like some other browsers - wouldn't run - wouldn't use - (they give you a reason, but I don't understand it) - ended up with Safari, about which I know little - used that instead that evening and it worked okay. Came back - shut out again - so I don't think it is a browser issue. Came back on IE8 last evening - fine... It may be it doesn't like too many links, or for there to be too much of it (but - like - this is a comment-place) - it may be something else not realised - it may just be what mood Blogger is in at the time... I'd got used to Spam swallowing some of it (at least it appears again), but what's this with keep telling someone it can't perform the request? No problem with the Comment box however... Isn't this fun?

    Paul The world has never been a safe place. It's just that at times enough of our part of it has been not-too-bad, and we forget - that at any time anything can happen, and all security will be removed - accident - illness - wars - plagues - natural disasters... Our world can be completed changed at any time - or we can suddenly leave it at any time...

    More from Reuters:

    Let's keep it important here - what will be the effect on the markets?

    (above, I should have put the link under my comment)

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/03/11/markets-lng-idUSL3E7EA13A20110311

    Four of Japan's nuclear plants were temporarily shut due to the quake, with a heightened state of alert declared near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

    "If one of (the nuclear plants) has been damaged by the earthquake, it could be out for a couple of years," Tri-Zen's Regan said, adding that such a long-term outage could ramp up LNG demand significantly and boost prices in the spot market.

    Traders said that Japanese utilities may try to cover increased demand through existing long-term LNG supply contracts.

    "There's plenty of long-term suppliers into Japan that might have had a similar situation before. The buyer and the seller would probably have a discussion and see what's available," another Asia-based trade source said.

    "You'll obviously see some impact on prices because if things need to be unwound from Europe or whichever market they were going to, then it's going to be more costly."

    The quake arrived at a period of otherwise slackening demand in the Pacific Basin as winter draws to a close in the northern hemisphere.

    Spot prices had remained in the range of $9.50 to $10 per million British thermal units for the last two weeks, but bids were reported to be gaining on the news of the quake.

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  41. Moonwave

    War and natural disasters - money spinners for many.
    The unfolding tragedy is beyond description - yet already there are some calculating the advantage to themselves. Sickening.

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  42. Hi Moonwave

    You're absolutely right.Should have said 'even more dangerous' as opposed to 'less safe'.

    @Hi Leni!


    @Still can't login to Disqus.Can only post as a guest.


    Definitely off now!

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  43. Leni - Yes, even while the disaster was unfolding, there were those eyeing up the profits that could be made out of it.


    The better news is that the tsunami is decreasing more than feared as it wanders across the Pacific, and they had time to prepare.

    Very difficult for the Japanese of that area to make a quick evacuation in the middle of a Friday afternoon, when the event was so sudden.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/mar/11/tsunami-waves-reach-hawaii

    Emergency sirens woke residents around the beaches of Hawaii during the night to warn of the impending tsunami but the first waves to strike the islands were only a few feet high.

    Across the Pacific, low-lying islands and coastal areas were given hours of warning about the danger of a devastating wall of water moving at up to 500 miles an hour as it fanned out from the epicentre of the earthquake.

    Tourists in Waikiki were moved to higher floors in hotels and residents evacuated inland to community centres, but the surge was initially measured at only two or three feet above normal sea levels.


    http://www.chinapost.com.tw/taiwan/national/national-news/2011/03/12/294404/Taiwan-coastal.htm

    The president [of Taiwan] canceled all his scheduled public events and inspected the Central Emergency Operation Center set up to monitor the possible threat from tsunamis triggered by the magnitude 8.9 earthquake and coordinate preparations and possible relief work from the tsunami, which hit Taiwan's shores at around 5:40 p.m.

    “Disaster prevention is more important than disaster relief,” said Ma,

    Ultimately, the tsunami was only half a meter high along the island's eastern coast, and no damage was reported, according to the Atomic Energy Council.

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  44. Quite concerning reports on Sky News. They saying that they been getting increasing reports that the pressure is still rising at the affected nuclear power plant and that the cooling methods are not working.

    Just reported now that a minister has confirmed that there may indeed be a 'small radiation leak'.

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  45. Gutted at the news. I left the house to early to listen to the radio this morning and in court all day so only found out about it from the Evening Standard.

    What a truly terrifying thing to happen. Was biting my lip to stop myself blubbing on the train as I read about it. All those lives devastated in minutes.

    Jebus. :(

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  46. Main footage <a href="www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-12716870>here</a>, for those who haven't seen it, or not too much of it.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-12716870

    http://www.9and10news.com/Category/Story/?id=284481&cID=1

    <i>Authorities say the pressure is rising at a nuclear power plant in northeastern Japan after its cooling system failed.

    Japan's nuclear safety agency says pressure inside the reactor at the Fukushima No. 1 power plant has risen to 1.5 times the level considered normal. To reduce the pressure, slightly radioactive vapor may be released.

    The agency said the radioactive element in the vapor would not affect the environment or human health.

    Japan has issued an evacuation order to about 3,000 residents living near the plant. The government also issued a state of emergency at the power plant.

    The agency says plant workers are scrambling to restore cooling water supply at the plant but there is no prospect for an immediate success.</i>

    Meanwhile:

    http://www.electronicsweekly.com/Articles/2011/03/11/50664/tsunami-could-devastate-world-chip-industry-says-penn.htm

    <i>Tsunami could devastate world chip industry

    Just how bad is going to be the effect of the Asian earthquake and tsunami on the semiconductor industry? Europe’s leading semiconductor analyst, Malcolm Penn, CEO of Future Horizons, spells out the potential disaster scenario for the industry...

    “If Tokyo was affected (as it was) then there's a whole swathe of fabs north (Kawasaki) and south of the city (Yokohama /Kanagawa) on the East coast that could have taken a 'hit' which will almost certainly have killed whatever was being processed at that time,” adds Penn, “that will impact IC supply availability in Q2, how bad depends on what and how much was hit.”...

    “Japan produces around 20-25% of world IC production, the biggest of which is Toshiba/SanDisk, one third the Japan total but half the world's NAND Flash production,” says Penn.

    “What if Korea had been hit?” asks penn, “ Korea is just under 20% of world production, 90% of which is DRAM - two thirds of the world total - that would kill that market dead.”

    “What if Taiwan had been hit?” he queries, “Taiwan is similar in size to Japan but builds 'all' the world's advanced logic and SoCs, that would kill all of the fabless firms: Qualcomm, Broadcom, Marvell, MediaTek, Nvidia, Xilinx,etc stone dead and mortally wound all of the fablite IDM defectors - TI, Renesas, ST, Infineon, NXP, Freescale etc.”</i>

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  47. Sorry - messed up that link:

    Main footage (from BBC)here, for those who haven't seen it, or not too much of it.

    P.S. My last comment appears to have been devoured by the Spam Monster.

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  48. Relaxed dubby vibes round at casa vizzo this evening...

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  49. Smallish warm up demo here in Sheffield this evening - main event tomorrow. Have a few pics which I'll put up in the gallery.

    C4 news running a special report on the earthquake and tsunami which seem to be of biblical proportions.

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  50. http://www.eitb.com/news/world/detail/616406/between-200-300-bodies-wash-sendai-beach-japan/

    Over two hundred bodies which have turned up dead on the beach in Sendai, Japan, appear to have drowned. The number of people missing is estimated to be as many as 88,000.

    Thousands of residents near a nuclear plant in Fukushima prefecture, north of Tokyo, were told to evacuate as a precaution after the 8.9 magnitude quake, but the government said no radiation was leaking.

    Up to 300 bodies were found in the coastal city of Sendai, media said. NHK television said the victims appeared to have drowned. The extent of the destruction along a lengthy stretch of coastline suggested the death toll could rise significantly...

    Other Japanese nuclear power plants and oil refineries were shut down and one refinery was ablaze. Television footage also showed an intense fire in the waterfront area near Sendai, the city hardest hit by the quake.

    A major explosion hit a petrochemical complex in Miyagi prefecture after the quake, Kyodo said.

    Political leaders pushed for an emergency budget to help fund relief efforts after Prime Minister Naoto Kan asked them to "save the country", Kyodo news agency reported...

    The quake, the most powerful since Japan started keeping records 140 years ago, sparked at least 80 fires in cities and towns along the coast, Kyodo news agency said.

    A ship carrying 100 people had been swept away by the tsunami, Kyodo said. One train was derailed and another unaccounted for.

    In Tokyo, residents who had earlier fled swaying buildings jammed the streets trying to make their way home after much of the city's public transportation was halted.

    There have been several strong aftershocks. In Tokyo, there was widespread panic. An oil refinery near the city was on fire, with dozens of storage tanks under threat. Around 4.4 million homes were without power in northern Japan, media said.

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  51. Mrs Wife just told me a joke, please 'stop me if you think that you've heard this one before':

    Q - Why did Nick Clegg cross the road?
    A - Because he said he wouldn't

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  52. Get a good nights sleep speedy - you'll be busy tomorrow!

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  53. Hi all, not much I can add to the Japan disaster. It was spell-binding seeing the waves sweep across and smother everything in it's wake. There must be more than 1000 dead which was the last figure I heard. Two trains missing as well? With those high speed trains anything could happen.

    This makes me think in general terms about how the 'system' is unable to cope. Look at our very own Heathrow airport, a bit of snow and they are literally snowed under. Everything is now run with a view to maximising returns - 'sweating your assets' which is generally the workers. Don't forget Japan is the second or 3rd sized economy so that shutting down for a while is a problem.

    In other news, I tried the new commentary option under Untrusted Too and it works fine with my Yahoo login account credentials.

    I will go and look at Sheff's snaps now.

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  54. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/japan/8376945/Entire-Japanese-city-on-fire-after-earthquake.html

    Entire Japanese city on fire after earthquake

    Kesennuma city, located 300 miles north east of Tokyo in Miyagi prefecture, was near the epicentre of the magnitude 8.9 earthquake.
    Night time aerial footage shows large swathes of the city, home to 74,000 people, on fire.

    footage
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oYrJoWNR4Ho

    Kesennuma

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  55. (Just to clarify, when I said 'soft gits', I meant 'like me' - I didn't mean it negatively. I hope that was clear. Sometimes I just don't convey what I mean very well!)

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  56. IanG

    Everything is now run with a view to maximising returns - 'sweating your assets' which is generally the workers. Don't forget Japan is the second or 3rd sized economy so that shutting down for a while is a problem.

    This is true, but there are occasions when they could give it a rest for a few minutes.

    Reminds me of the NY or London bombings, when the main concern of our politicians was that the world economic power houses not be halted. The City is straight back running as usual, was declared from our government, as if that was the only real concern; which I suppose it is for them.

    I'm not able to get into the sort of mindset where the reaction to watching a terrible human tragedy is straightaway to get out the calculator.

    I know this is how our world is run - and that the corporations will only care if there's a way of making a profit out of it.

    It's not a happy reflection.

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  57. http://edition.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/asiapcf/03/11/japan.nuclear/index.html

    Citing the Tokyo Electric Power Co., Japan's Kyodo News Agency said that radioactive substances may have seeped out of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactor, about 160 miles (260 kilometers) north of Tokyo. Earlier, the agency had reported that authorities may purposefully release radioactive vapor to alleviate pressure at the power plant.

    Radiation levels measured at a monitoring post near the plant's main gate are more than eight times above normal, Japan's nuclear safety agency said, according to Kyodo...

    These and other issues caused by the 8.9-magnitude quake prompted authorities to order an evacuation of people within 2 to 3 kilometers (1.2 to 1.8 miles) of the plant, a move Edano called "precautionary." Early Saturday morning, Prime Minister Naoto Kan said that the evacuation order had been extended to those within 10 kilometers of the reactor...

    The company said that it plans to take steps to "reduce the pressure of the reactor."

    The trouble at the Fukushima plant happened after the plant successfully shut down, Edano said.

    The International Atomic Energy Agency said Friday on its website that the quake and tsunami knocked out the reactor's off-site power source, which is used to cool down the radioactive material inside. Then, the tsunami waves disabled the backup source -- diesel generators -- and authorities were working to get these operating...

    Janie Eudy told CNN that her 52-year-old husband, Joe, was working at the plant and was injured by falling and shattering glass when the quake struck. As he and others were planning to evacuate, at their managers' orders, the tsunami waves struck and washed buildings from the nearby town past the plant...

    The problems at the Fukushima Daiichi reactor are just one of many affecting power stations around the country, especially in northeast Japan.

    The Tokyo Electric Power Co. said that its Fukishima Daini reactor was also shut down because of the quake, and seven thermal power stations and 24 hydro power stations that it operates also have been shut down. The Goi Thermal Power Station has since been restarted...

    All these shutdowns had left more than 1.6 million people without power as of Saturday morning, according to the electric company.

    James Acton, a physicist who examined the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant after a 2007 earthquake, told CNN that Japanese authorities are in a race to cool down the Fukushima reactor.

    "If they can't restore power to the plant (and cool the reactor), then there's the possibility of some sort of core meltdown," he said.

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  58. re: Max & the cards

    He's real and this has been verified by the secretary in our building, who called the school that the boy attends and asked about the request we received. I'd imagine that it is a common request/occurrence because either they've seen a story about some other kid with cancer making such a request or it's just something that a kid who's dying, knows he's dying, and cannot travel thinks might make him feel good -- to know that lots of people thought about him and took the time to send him a card.

    And, yes, Meerkatjie, I think it would be wonderful if you or anyone else would spread the word. One of the reasons I posted it here rather than just e-mailing people was because I hoped that perhaps some of our lurkers would also take the time to send a card.

    Neola has a population of 841 and I don't imagine Max has ever had the opportunity to travel much. I just think it would be great if he could get cards from all over the world.

    ------------------------------------

    re: Japan

    It's just staggering to watch the video. Can't imagine how frightening it must be.

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  59. I've heard reports that this is the worst earthquake Japan has experienced in 1,200 years..... It is as if the top part of the country has been demolished.... I cannot comprehend it....

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  60. @IanGand Moonwave; we are sold the myth that it's just "human nature". I don't buy it myself. On the contrary, in my experience most people don't subscribe to the "market forces, law of the jungle" crap that our leaders continue to peddle!

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  61. Moonwave:

    Glad your posts are getting through again....

    I'm not able to get into the sort of mindset where the reaction to watching a terrible human tragedy is straightaway to get out the calculator

    Exactly. I couldn't quite believe it when as the footage was making it apparent that a huge disaster and loss of life was unfolding ... I heard those disgusting words.... "the markets reacted..."

    FUCK THE MARKETS.... Jesus, have they no shame?

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  62. @Montana; Myself and Amelie are on the case with regard to the letters to Max. Amelie is pretty good at composing her own stuff and making up her own package when it comes to sending greetings cards!

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  63. A tragic situation in Japan, and if anything, reminding us of the fragility of planet earth, a tiny pale blue dot in space.
    here

    People think that while they are mortal, generals, statesmen, the like, think they can achieve immortality by leaving vast structures or monuments to commemorate them. But the bowels of the earth won't be so sympathetic.

    It's amazing that that human life (or any life beyond protozoa) even managed to develop at all, it really was a one in a billion billion chance that all the conditions were ripe for human existence.... almost enough to make you believe in God(s).....but then things like today happen and you can't accept a deity who allows such things to happen. Although frankly I don't care if any Japanese people (or any other) are religious- if it gives them comfort and relief that's fine.

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  64. On a lighter note just seen a funny baby post on waddya.And imo this one is even funnier.

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  65. Again - last comment needs rescuing from Spam.

    La Rit
    Yes, at present I'm posting okay (who knows) -just the odd one getting swallowed.

    Montana
    Thank you for your indulgence.
    I'll get cards sent to Max.

    Chekov
    ...in my experience most people don't subscribe to the "market forces, law of the jungle" crap that our leaders continue to peddle!

    That's also my experience, but it may depend on what company we choose to keep. It's obviously in the nature of some of the human race, as it's not a new phenomenon.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/03/11/us-japan-quake-idUSTRE72A0SS20110311?pageNumber=1

    Japan confronted devastation along its northeastern coast on Saturday, with fires raging and parts of some cities under water...

    Daybreak was expected to reveal the full extent of the death and damage from Friday's 8.9 magnitude earthquake and the 10-meter high tsunami it sent surging into cities and villages, sweeping away everything in its path.

    In one of the worst-hit residential areas, people buried under rubble could be heard calling out "help" and "when are we going to be rescued," Kyodo news agency reported...

    The unfolding natural disaster prompted offers of search and rescue help from 45 countries.

    China said rescuers were ready to help with quake relief while President Barack Obama told Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan the United States would assist in any way.

    "This is likely to be a humanitarian relief operation of epic proportions," Japan expert Sheila Smith of the U.S.-based Council on Foreign Relations wrote in a commentary...

    The airport in the city of Sendai, home to one million people, was on fire, it added...

    Even in a nation accustomed to earthquakes, the devastation was shocking.

    "A big area of Sendai city near the coast, is flooded. We are hearing that people who were evacuated are stranded," said Rie Sugimoto, a reporter for NHK television in Sendai.

    "About 140 people, including children, were rushed to an elementary school and are on the rooftop but they are surrounded by water and have nowhere else to go."

    Japan has prided itself on its speedy tsunami warning system, which has been upgraded several times since its inception in 1952, including after a 7.8 magnitude quake triggered a 30-meter high wave before a warning was given.

    The country has also built countless breakwaters and floodgates to protect ports and coastal areas, although experts said they might not have been enough to prevent disasters such as the one that struck on Friday...

    The earthquake was the fifth most powerful to hit the world in the past century.

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  66. Unspammed, moonwave.

    Just dropped in for a fly by. The scenes from Japan are just horrendous, as I imagine will be the personal stories of survivors, as they unfold.

    NN

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  67. As the scale of the damage in Japan becomes clearer it reveals a monumental disaster - on a scale I can hardly imagine.

    Search and rescue people in the hundreds- perhaps more - will be needed - the area of devastation is huge.

    Field hospitals and hospital ships will be urgently needed - time for the world to come together and recognise our fragility and interdepence.

    Meanwhile - on several war fronts ...

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  68. Top Chinese leaders stress fast relief work after SW earthquake

    English.news.cn 2011-03-11 19:27:01 FeedbackPrintRSS

    BEIJING, March 11 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao stressed saving life a priority and ordered quick relief work after a 5.8-magnitude earthquake hit Yingjiang County in southwest China's Yunnan Province Thursday.

    On-site rescue forces confirmed that no one remained buried under the debris, local authorities said in a statement Friday.

    As of 6 p.m. Friday, 25 people are confirmed dead and more than 250 others are injured.

    The earthquake destroyed over 18,000 houses and apartments and left more than 49,000 others seriously damaged.

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  69. Everyone needs a break from all the bad news that's piling up.So for those looking for just a few minutes escape here's a classic from Lamont Dozier

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  70. I only popped in for a few minutes this afternoon to see what was happening - not sure what took over there - a day of sad events... So tomorrow I really must do what I meant to today (today I must do what I intended to do yesterday)...

    Paul
    Taking a break

    That's a pleasant song.

    Escapism - this I'm good at... While I'm writing about serious things, I go on to light-hearted videos inbetween - it's my way of coping with all of it - and all the humbug that happens in my own real life; but I'm not too good at sophisticated musical videos, so probably best mostly to keep it to myself.

    Any Dream Will Do

    That baby reminds me of my new grandson, although he hasn't quite got his teeth as yet. Meanwhile, he's become a most remarkable raspeberry blower - he can even hold his foot at the same time. I'm most impressed.

    Charles
    People think that while they are mortal, generals, statesmen, the like, think they can achieve immortality by leaving vast structures or monuments to commemorate them. But the bowels of the earth won't be so sympathetic.

    Whatever they do - whatever position of glory or fortune they give to themselves - whether they have a statue or not - they soon are laid low into the dust of the ground.

    Some may manage to avoid taxes, but there is one condition not one of them (us)can escape.

    So what folly to imagine anything superior about one's position amongst other people.

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  71. Moonwave

    I think this old classic by SYLVIA could help get the UT all luvved up in these difficult times.And on a more serious note some great earlier posts from you:-)

    @James

    Both you and your blog seemed to have disappeared.Hope all's well with you.

    @Bitterweed

    Where the fuck are you?

    @Nowt much happening here so Nite all

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  72. apologies to anyone else who's already pointed out the appropriateness of this in re the Sat 26 March (hopefully) multi-million person march on London ..

    Talkin bout a Revolution (Tracy Chapman)

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