BlogAid: Support the Asia Relief Effort

I don’t have any adver­tise­ment on my weblog so it doesn’t earn me any rev­enue what­so­ev­er. But if it did, I would pledge my blog earn­ings to Blo­gAid. If you gen­er­ate any rev­enue from your weblog, you might want to con­sid­er pledg­ing. It’s for a good cause.
Alter­nate­ly, nature.com’s Earth­quake dis­as­ter: how to help explains who is doing what to help, and how you can donate. No blog required.

Nature.com on the South Asia Earthquake

Dev­as­tat­ing quake redraws map. This nature.com arti­cle explains how the earth­quake has moved some islands by sev­er­al metres only with­in min­utes and why the wave cre­at­ed by it was able to wash up areas as far as 5 kilo­me­tres inland.

And of course, Indone­sian tsuna­mi-mon­i­tor­ing sys­tem lacked basic equip­ment. If you’d lived in Indone­sia all your life, that kind of thing wouldn’t sur­prise you. You just couldn’t help but think­ing that some­one must have corrupted/manipulated the mon­ey allo­cat­ed by the gov­ern­ment to pay for the frick­ing phone line. We’re bit­ter that way.

A Picture Speaks 1,000 Words

Images of Tsuna­mi Sites by Dig­i­tal­Globe show the aer­i­al views of Ban­da Aceh, Indone­sia and Kalu­tara, Sri Lan­ka before and after the dis­as­ter struck.

Thirst and grief stalk Indone­sia. Pho­tographs from Ban­da Aceh, Indone­sia by Reuters Alert­Net show the dev­as­tat­ing state of Ban­da Aceh after the dis­as­ter.

IRIS Seis­mic Mon­i­tor has a map and a list of earth­quakes hap­pen­ing world­wide in the last 30 days of mag­ni­tude >= 4. Our blue plan­et seems rest­less.

Everything Is Wrong

Tsuna­mi death toll jumps over 120,000. Aid pours into Asia, not reach­ing tsuna­mi vic­tims. Tsuna­mi waters raise land­mine fears in Sri Lan­ka. Every­thing seems to have gone wrong in this world.

I keep think­ing about how the sur­vivors must feel. I know how it feels to lose a fam­i­ly mem­ber (my moth­er died last year after being sick for almost a year). Los­ing the whole fam­i­ly to an unex­pect­ed nat­ur­al dis­as­ter, not know­ing that the last day that you spent with them was the last day ever, must feel a mil­lion times worse. Thou­sands of chil­dren must have become orphaned by now. Orphaned and home­less and starv­ing to death.

I’m blog­ging this to keep sane, to try to make sense of all this. I don’t think it works, though.

A Call for Help

I’m sure you have all heard about the South Asia earth­quake and tsunamis. I’m not going to say any­thing about it since no word could do it jus­tice. The least I can do is ask you to make a dona­tion towards the relief funds if you have some mon­ey to spare. You can do it online through the Inter­na­tion­al Fed­er­a­tion of Red Cross and Red Cres­cent Soci­eties (donate), Oxfam (donate), or Save the Chil­dren (donate) (more aid groups accept­ing dona­tions for vic­tims). Please. To say that they need your help bad­ly is an under­state­ment.
In case you’re won­der­ing, my fam­i­ly is fine. They live on Java island, next to the bad­ly affect­ed Suma­tra. There have been reports of unusu­al­ly high tidal waves in the south coast of Java but thank­ful­ly no tsuna­mi. That’s all I can say about it.

Always Take the Weather

Ever since I wit­nessed the North­ern Lights a.k.a. Auro­ra Bore­alis on Novem­ber 7 (which was the most amaz­ing thing, ever), I’ve become slight­ly obsessed with SpaceWeather.com. I have to check this site at least once a day.
One night, after the Novem­ber 7 Auro­ra sight­ing, the boy had to reluc­tant­ly dri­ve me out of town just because the site said that there was a big pos­si­bil­i­ty for Auro­ra sight­ing that night and I prac­ti­cal­ly begged him to go look for the Auro­ra with me. We end­ed up stand­ing around in the cold, in the dark, in the mid­dle of nowhere for about half an hour just to see noth­ing but the stars and the blink­ing lights com­ing from air­planes.
I don’t think I would ever beg the boy to look for the Auro­ra with me ever again, but I still do check SpaceWeather.com dai­ly for my dai­ly dose of astron­o­my-relat­ed news. Besides, not every­one has ever wit­nessed the North­ern Lights. I should count myself lucky.