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.